What Do the ESA and EVs Have in Common?

Well…not much, but those are the two topics I’d like to talk about.

The ESA: Energy Supplier Assessment

Curt Abbott, Board Assistant Treasurer

For the last few years I have talked here in Boardlines how the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) is funded by assessments paid by ratepayers not general funds. Also, ODOE can increase those assessments at its discretion, up to an extraordinary amount. Because of this, several utilities including Central Lincoln sued the state to declare the ESA is a tax. As a tax it would require greater legislative oversight for rate increases. Central Lincoln is paying about $120,000 to ODOE this year.

Finally, we got some good news—we won! But not so fast—the state has appealed the court’s decision and the case is still grinding through the judicial system. Also of note: because the rates are set every two years we could only sue over the 2016-17 rates. After the positive decision on our favor, a number of other utilities joined a new suit challenging the 2018-19 rates. The action on that suit is currently set aside until the current appeal is decided. If we continue to get positive court decisions, it will have a huge impact on the department. But, despite all this activity, the Department of Energy is proposing another significant ESA increase for the next biennium. Stay tuned.

EVs

Yes, it really is true: your utility can power your automobile. Electricity is cheaper and cleaner, what more can you ask for? Imagine never having to stop at a gas station. Most if not all, of your charging can be done at home. And, most maintenance that vehicles normally require is practically non-existent for electric vehicles.

Electricity is much cleaner to create then the refinement of oil into gasoline, so you get to feel good about how you are helping the environment when you drive electric. EVs are also fun to drive as they are quiet and zippy. I really enjoy mine. Current models are getting over 200 miles per charge and the network of charging stations are rapidly growing across the country.

Over the next few years, every car manufacturer will be offering electric models, and several are even committed to only making electric vehicles. The time is here to plan to make your next car an electric car. Central Lincoln is happy to help provide information and resources to help investigate electric vehicle options. If you have any questions or reservations, please ask by emailing us at info@clpud.org. This is an incredibly important step that we can take now to improve our lives and environment.