Energy Affordability Act offers utility bill relief for low-income Oregonians

New legislation might provide monetary relief to thousands of Oregonians having a hard time to pay their utility costs.
On May 25, Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 2475 that allows the Oregon Public Utility Commission to set different rates for low-income Oregonians requiring help with energy costs. The law likewise enables community companies representing ecological and low-income justice communities to look for funding and bring those customers voices to commission considerations.
The OPUC controls big electricity, gas, water and telecom service providers in the state.
The Energy Affordability Act is a long-sought option to structural earnings and social equity variations that appeared throughout public processes OPUC carried out beginning in 2017. Earlier attempts to resolve these injustices foundered during the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions however were renewed as Oregons economy was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A broad coalition of regional community groups and statewide ecological and energy interests assisted move the bill through an unusual, primarily remote legislative session. Their aim: To ensure state organizations have the insights and tools they require to attend to these financial and societal variations.
The legislation received support from Oregonians and organizations throughout the state who provided moving individual statement that shed light on the impacts of the pandemic and resulting financial unpredictability.
Though the Energy Affordability Act will not eliminate the requirement for energy assistance, it is anticipated to increase stability and predictability for Oregonians struggling with high energy concerns.
Read more about HB 2475 on the Oregon State Legislature website.