Energy Management

Oregon Power Market Choice Reminder: Applications Due in September

3 min read

Commercial and industrial businesses in the Portland area have a new window of opportunity to take advantage of the benefits that come with energy choice.

Direct Access – the state’s name for its energy choice program – allows customers to purchase electricity from a competitive provider called an Energy Service Supplier (ESS), such as Constellation, instead of from a regulated electric utility. Energy Service Suppliers tend to offer a wide variety of energy solutions that can be customized for your business’ needs.

Portland General Electric (PGE), the utility company for the Portland area, offers its business customers both fixed and market-based pricing plans. PGE customers who have chosen market-based pricing can now either opt for hourly market pricing from PGE or choose from a variety of supply products by participating in the Direct Access program and selecting a third-party ESS but have a short window to apply for the latter opportunity this September.

What are the qualifications for participating in the program?

A customer who wishes to leave utility supply service and participate in a three- or five-year contract option with an ESS must be within one of the following rate classes (85, 89, 90, 91, 92, 95) and they must have an aggregate 1 MW of load to take advantage of the multi-year transition charge option. Find out if you’re qualified by visiting PGE’s website. Most importantly, the five-year term option allows customers to move to permanent direct access and, after five years, customers will no longer be subject to transition charges.

When and how can I apply to the program?

The next opportunity PGE customers can modify their pricing plan selection will be during the September election window, which will be open from 8 a.m. PDT on September 1 through 5 p.m. PDT on September 30, 2019, according to These changes will be effective January 1, 2020. During this window you may choose to leave PGE’s standard supply service for either a fixed three-year term or a minimum of five years. But only the five-year option allows customers to avoid the transition charge in year six.

In addition, customers who do not qualify for the three- or five-year option can opt in for a one-year term during two opt-out windows: the first from November 15, 2019 until November 21, 2019 and the second from February 17, 2020 until February 19, 2020.

Entering the Portland Power Market

Why should I transition to using to an Energy Service Supplier for my energy needs?

States across the country have developed competitive markets for energy, providing the opportunity for energy suppliers to compete with one another to supply the electricity and natural gas that powers your business.

This competition:

  • drives innovation
  • allows customers to choose specialized products such as supply that meet their own environmental and sustainability goals
  • and provides customers with pricing certainty that helps them manage their overall energy budgets.

Because of a competitive energy market, businesses in states with energy choice – and access to retail energy suppliers like Constellation — can choose from a range of relatively simple, to very complex, energy management strategies that can be used to gain a competitive advantage in their respective business. Read more about the benefits of energy choice.

Learn more about the changes in the Portland area in depth by watching our webinar or by contacting your Constellation business development specialist.

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