Customer rates will not be increased
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced that parties involved in the current rate case with Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) have reached a settlement agreement that ensures no rate increase for the company’s customers.
OG&E filed its rate case last December and asked the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) for an annual rate increase of nearly $78 million. Last month, the attorney general filed expert witness testimony in the case that determined that OG&E should actually reduce its rates by $32 million. This settlement agreement would maintain current rates, meaning no rate increase for customers.
Attorney General Hunter said he is pleased with the outcome that holds ratepayers harmless.
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure customers aren’t paying a penny more than they should for electric services,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Thanks to the commitment of all sides coming together, working hard and negotiating on behalf of OG&E customers, we were able to put ratepayers first and prevent higher rates this summer. We appreciate OG&E’s willingness to come to the table with us for negotiations and do what is best for its customers.”
The parties in the case that signed off on the agreement include AARP, Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers, the federal government, Wal-Mart and the Public Utility Division for the OCC.
“AARP Oklahoma applauds the settlement filed today between OG&E and parties to the case, including AARP,” said Sean Voskuhl, AARP Oklahoma state director. “The settlement halts a proposed $77.6 million per year rate increase, and as importantly, rejects a proposed 70 percent increase of the customer monthly charge, which is a substantial win for residential ratepayers. With summer months and Oklahoma’s extreme heat coming, budget for higher utility costs is extremely challenging, especially older adults and those with low or fixed incomes. This becomes a critical pocketbook issue for Oklahomans.
Individuals struggling to pay for food, housing and medicines cannot afford to see a significant increase in their utility bills, particularly when it is not justified.”
The case is now set to go before an administrative law judge of the OCC on May 29. The three member commission must vote to approve the settlement agreement for it to be effective.
The attorney general’s Utility Regulation Unit advocates for reasonable rates for Oklahoma utility customers and compliance with rules designed to promote quality utility service.
Attorneys and analysts within the unit are routinely involved in complex litigation to protect the interests of Oklahoma utility customers.