Public Service Company of Oklahoma filed another rate hike request with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and if approved, its customers would pay another $14 a month.
In an announcement on Tuesday, PSO defended the request, citing greater energy security, reliability, long-term affordability, resilience, safety and economic growth.
The proposal will provide funding to harden the PSO electrical grid, meaning power outages would be less frequent, smaller and shorter, while encouraging clean energy and protecting the public and our workers. The utility said its customers have already benefited from PSO’s increased grid investments, which have reduced total PSO outages by more than 13 million minutes since January 1, 2020.
PSO’s renewable energy fleet would expand, providing fuel-free power as a hedge against a major source of inflation – rising fuel prices. And Oklahoma would be more competitive for attracting jobs and investment because of several aspects of the proposal.
If approved, the proposal would increase PSO net revenue $173 million annually to reflect current levels of investment and costs incurred to serve customers.
For the average residential customer who uses 1,100 kilowatt-hours per month, the increase would be about $14.11 a month or 10%.
The Tulsa-based utility claimed in its announcement that the “team at PSO” is “concerned about fuel and energy costs increasing.”
The proposal’s investment in fuel-free power capacity will help meet the future needs of PSO customers while helping to shield them from fuel-driven inflation and sudden price spikes such as those that occurred during the February 2021 winter storm.
“These are difficult times for many people, and all of us at PSO are committed to working efficiently and investing in technology to keep prices competitive while maintaining reliable service,” said PSO President and Chief Operating Officer Leigh Anne Strahler.
“We work with customers to address individual needs and help our customers reduce their energy use. We offer weatherization assistance, rebates, incentives, valuable conservation information and flexible payment options to help customers manage their bills.”