Consumer group fights PSO’s $88 million rate hike request

The $88 million rate hike sought by Public Service Company of Oklahoma is opposed by the Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers, a group that says PSO’s request is excessive and should be reduced, not increased.

The OIEC, in a release stated that it filed testimony with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission responding to PSO’s request for an $88.45 million rate hike.

“In its testimony, OIEC provided evidence showing that PSO’s requested rate increase is excessive and that a $6.4 million rate REDUCTION is justified and necessary to keep PSO’s electric rates competitive,” stated the group.

“PSO is seeking a 21.69% increase in base rates for many of its industrial customers which PSO has not justified and which is not appropriate based on the evidence OIEC has presented today,” said Tom Schroedter, Executive Director of OIEC, an association of companies that advocate for the lowest reasonable energy costs. 

“Moreover, this is the 3rd rate hike filing made by PSO with the Corporation Commission in the last three years.  PSO’s request for a rate hike should be denied and the company should be instructed to control its costs and spending, as private sector businesses and industries are required to do.”

To protect Oklahoma’s business and industrial customers from PSO’s proposed base rate increase, OIEC filed the expert testimony of four witnesses urging that the Commission adopt numerous adjustments to PSO’s requested revenue requirement and related increase.  OIEC’s recommendations consist of: (i) a $15.6 million adjustment based on OIEC’s recommendation for a reasonable 9.3% return on equity; (ii) an $8.78 million reduction to PSO’s proposed depreciation rates, and (iii) $70.45 million worth of accounting and other adjustments which reduce PSO’s requested investments and expenses to reasonable levels. 

OIEC represents industrial and other large energy consumers whose members employ tens of thousands of Oklahomans.  The organization advocates for just and reasonable rates for OIEC member companies.  OIEC has been active on behalf of industrial and other large consumers of energy for more than 20 years.  For more information regarding this press release call Tom Schroedter at 918-594-0400. 

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