OGE defends rate hike—says rates are still lowest in the U.S.

OGE implements new rate hike while awaiting final regulatory approval – Oklahoma  Energy Today


After negotiating a down-sized rate increase of $30 million, Oklahoma Gas and Electric defended the hike to consumers, saying in a newsletter this week that its electric rates are still among the lowest in the nation.

In a note to consumers this week, the utility said its residential rates are around 30% below the national average.

“When adjusted for inflation, OG&E’s rates are even lower than they were 10 years ago,” stated the consumer note. “The last time OG&E’s base rates were increased was 2017, with a customer bill impact of less than $1 per month for the average residential customer.

OG&E started off the letter and stated it understood “the surging inflation can be challenging on families and businesses alike” and that “we remain committed to providing affordable, reliable and resilient service to our customers during these trying times.”

The company’s rate hike request was trimmed last week during hearings before an Administrative Law Judge at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and with interest groups that convinced the firm to lower its request to $30 million. The original request totaled $163.5 million. The ALJ has yet to make a recommendation to the three corporation commissioners who will have the final decision. Until then, OG&E chose to implement the rate increase.

The increase is 1.9% on the base rate which results in another $2.07 per month for the typical residential customer. OG&E explained the hike is necessary to “help us recover the investments OG&E has made in the grid and other critical systems over the last three years.”