In the early 1930's, only some Oregon residents had access to electricity. Many electric companies weren't interested in building facilities to serve rural customers.
The people of the State of Oregon passed a constitutional amendment authorizing the formation of People's Utility Districts to give residents local control over the provision of electricity and other essential utility services.
PUDs are owned and operated by the people they serve. Each PUD is governed by a five-member Board of Directors, elected by the voters within the PUD's political boundary. The Board sets rates and policies for the PUD, with the goal of providing the most benefit to customers. PUD Boards hold regular local meetings which are open to the public.
PUD rates are based on the actual cost of providing service. PUD rates are often lower than rates charged by investor-owned utilities, who must charge more to provide stockholder profits.
PUDs may generate some or all of the electricity they sell, or they may purchase it. In Oregon, PUDs have first right, or "preference", to the power generated by the Federal Columbia River Hydropower System, which is marketed and transmitted by the Bonneville Power Administration. Traditionally, Oregon PUDs have received most of their power from this source.
Statewide, Oregon PUDs pay millions of dollars annually in property taxes and franchise fees to the communities they serve.
PUDs tailor their services to meet the needs of the communities they serve. They offer a wide array of programs for residential, commercial and industrial customers. These programs include low-income energy assistance, weatherization, lighting efficiency, energy audits, conservation and much more.
As members of the communities they serve, PUDs have a vested interest in supporting community goals and events. PUDs participate in local chambers of commerce and service organizations, offer educational opportunities to local schools and provide information, training and other services to cities, counties, police and fire departments.
PUDs also participate in home shows, home builder training seminars and other programs to promote the wise use of electricity.
PUDs in Oregon lead the way to tomorrow's energy solutions. Here are just a few examples:
To learn more about PUDs in Oregon, contact:
The Oregon PUD Association
727 Center Street NE, Suite 109
Salem, OR 97301
Telephone: (503) 370-4413
Fax: (503) 397-4451
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