ORS 757.398¹
Small natural gas utilities
  • filing to participate
  • rate cap
  • cost recovery
  • qualified investments

(1) Upon a filing by a small natural gas utility to participate in the small renewable natural gas program adopted by rule by the Public Utility Commission under ORS 757.394 (Renewable natural gas programs) (2), the commission shall establish a rate cap limiting the small natural gas utility’s costs of procuring renewable natural gas from third parties and qualified investments in renewable natural gas infrastructure. The rate cap must be expressed as a percentage of the small natural gas utility’s total revenue requirement as approved by the commission in the public utility’s most recent general rate case. For the purposes of establishing a rate cap under this subsection, the commission shall account for:

(a) Any value received by the small natural gas utility upon any resale of renewable natural gas, including any environmental credits that the renewable natural gas producer chooses to include with the sale of renewable natural gas to the small natural gas utility; and

(b) Any savings achieved through avoidance of conventional gas purchases or development, such as avoided pipeline costs or carbon costs.

(2)(a) A filing by a small natural gas utility under subsection (1) of this section must include, but need not be limited to:

(A) A proposal to procure a total volume of renewable natural gas over a specific period; and

(B) Identification of the qualified investments that the small natural gas utility may make in renewable natural gas infrastructure.

(b) A small natural gas utility may from time to time revise the filing submitted to the commission under this section.

(3) Any prudently incurred costs incurred by a small natural gas utility pursuant to a filing submitted under this section may be recovered by means of an automatic adjustment clause, as defined in ORS 757.210 (Hearing to establish new schedules).

(4) When a small natural gas utility makes a qualified investment in the production of renewable natural gas, the costs associated with that qualified investment shall include the cost of capital established by the commission in the small natural gas utility’s most recent general rate case. [2019 c.541 §6]

Note: Section 7, chapter 541, Oregon Laws 2019, provides:

Sec. 7. The Public Utility Commission shall adopt rules pursuant to sections 4 to 6 of this 2019 Act [757.394 (Renewable natural gas programs) to 757.398 (Small natural gas utilities)] no later than July 31, 2020. [2019 c.541 §7]

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 (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 757, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano757.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
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. Currency Information