The Oregon Public Utility Commissioners have recently sanctioned a rate hike for all customers of Portland General Electric. This change predominantly affects residential customers with a significant 17.2% increase in their bills. Commercial and industrial customers are also facing rises of 15.9% and 11% respectively. PGE’s management attributes this surge to the hefty expenses involved in upgrading the electrical grid. This is part of their strategy to shift from the economically advantageous natural gas to alternative energy sources like wind and solar, which are relatively less tested. Such transformations, driven by Oregon’s push towards reducing reliance on fossil fuels, hint at potential future rate hikes. Energy independence becomes crucial in this context. Without competitors, PGE may continue escalating prices, leaving consumers without viable alternatives. Presently, propane is emerging as a more eco-friendly option compared to electricity, given that 60% of Oregon’s electricity still originates from natural gas and coal. Propane, less carbon-intensive than its electric counterpart, is also non-toxic and poses no threat to groundwater if released. With the latest increase in electricity rates and the ample availability of propane in the U.S., it has become a more cost-effective choice for home heating and water heating. Additionally, the industry is making strides in producing renewable propane, aiming to further reduce the carbon footprint. As we conclude 2023, we extend our gratitude for your continued patronage and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
John Buller and Sons