2017 ORS 757.061¹
Regulation of water utilities
  • rules

(1) For the purposes of this section:

(a) “Rate regulation” means regulation under this chapter, except for regulation under ORS 757.105 (Filing of budget) to 757.110 (Effect of budget orders).

(b) “Service regulation” means regulation under this chapter, except for regulation under ORS 757.105 (Filing of budget) to 757.110 (Effect of budget orders), 757.140 (Depreciation accounts), 757.205 (Filing schedules with commission) to 757.220 (Notice of schedule changes required), 757.225 (Utilities required to collect for their services in accordance with schedules), 757.245 (Establishment of joint rates), 757.259 (Amounts includable in rate schedule), 757.355 (Costs of property not presently providing utility service excluded from rate base), 757.400 (“Stocks” defined for ORS 757.400 to 757.460) to 757.460 (Pledge of conservation investment assets as bond collateral), 757.485 (Purchase of property or stocks of one utility by another), 757.490 (Approval needed for certain contracts), 757.495 (Contracts involving utilities and persons with affiliated interests) and 757.500 (Contracts between certain public utilities).

(2) Except as provided in this section, water utilities are not subject to regulation under this chapter or required to pay the fee provided for in ORS 756.310 (Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers).

(3) The following utilities are subject to rate regulation and must pay the fee provided for in ORS 756.310 (Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers):

(a) A water utility that serves 500 or more customers.

(b) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers, if the water utility also provides wastewater services to the public inside the boundaries of a city.

(c) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers, if the Public Utility Commission grants a petition from the water utility requesting that the water utility be subject to rate regulation.

(d) A water utility that satisfies all of the following conditions:

(A) The water utility serves fewer than 500 customers;

(B) The water utility proposes to charge a rate for water service that exceeds the maximum rates established by the commission under subsection (5) of this section; and

(C) Twenty percent or more of the customers of the water utility file a petition with the commission requesting that the water utility be subject to rate regulation.

(4) The following utilities are subject to service regulation and must pay the fee provided for in ORS 756.310 (Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers):

(a) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers and that is found by the commission, pursuant to an investigation under ORS 756.515 (Investigations and hearings on commission’s own motion), to have provided inadequate or discriminatory service at any time.

(b) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers and that at any time charges an average annual residential rate of $24 per month or more.

(5)(a) The commission shall adopt rules establishing maximum rates for water utilities serving fewer than 500 customers for the purpose of determining whether a petition may be filed under subsection (3)(d)(C) of this section.

(b) To encourage metered water systems for water utilities serving fewer than 500 customers, the commission shall establish a higher maximum rate for water utilities with metered water systems than for water utilities with unmetered systems.

(6) Not less than 60 days before a water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers increases any rate to exceed any maximum rate prescribed under subsection (5) of this section, the water utility shall provide written notice to all of its customers advising the customers of their right to file a petition under subsection (3)(d)(C) of this section. The commission shall adopt rules prescribing the content of the written notice. [1989 c.403 §2; 1999 c.330 §1; 2003 c.82 §1; 2009 c.429 §1; 2011 c.76 §1; 2013 c.96 §4]

Chapter 757

Notes of Decisions

Under regulatory scheme, Public Utility Commissioner has authority to promulgate rule limiting telephone company’s liability for directory listing errors or omissions. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

Refund is proper exercise of Public Utility Commission’s general powers if refund (1) is based only on in­for­ma­­tion in existence at time of rate order for which refund is being made; (2) is not based on evalua­tion of public utility’s actual expenses or revenues; and (3) is not effectuated by offsetting future rates. Gearhart v. Public Utility Commission, 255 Or App 58, 299 P3d 533 (2013), aff’d 356 Or 216, 339 P3d 904 (2014)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of Governor and Public Utility Commissioner to enter into binding agree­ments with respect to uniform curtail­ment plans, (1977) Vol 38, p 861

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 757—Utility Regulation Generally, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors757.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 757, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano757.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.