The Dollars and Sense of ONG’s Cost Recovery Case

Oklahomans may soon experience a significant increase in utility bills if Oklahoma Natural Gas succeeds in its cost recovery case.

According to a news report published by Dale Denwalt in The Oklahoman, the administrative law judge will likely allow ONG to “charge the average residential customer several dollars more per month on top of their current natural gas utility bill.”

ONG filed the largest cost recovery case in state history to help pay more than $1.3 billion in fuel costs that it incurred during the winter storms last year.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and ONG’s Voluntary Fixed Price program customers will not be affected.

“Estimated monthly costs for customers using less than 50 dekatherms of natural gas per year is less than $5 per month, or less than $8 for customers using more than 50 dekatherms. Those estimated costs, however, are based on how marketable the bond is to investors,” according to the news report.

As part of the bond issue plan, customers would pay a termination fee of up to $1,320 if they switch to another utility source. The fee ensures that current and future ONG customers aren’t affected if someone impacted by storm costs leaves the system without paying their share.

Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy expressed concern about the fee during last week’s hearing.

The commission is expected to act on these proposals by January.



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