AARP calls for moratorium on utility rate hikes in Oklahoma

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In light of the upcoming winter weather, AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl questions the preparation and communication by Oklahoma utility companies and calls for a moratorium on rate hikes and customer disconnections.  

“What steps have the utilities taken all the steps to ensure that all Oklahomans will have safe and reliable service? What have they learned from past mismanagement and price gouging from Winter Storm Uri-leaving customers on the hook for billions of dollars for decades?” he asked in a statement released Wednesday.

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Voskuhl said the safety and welfare of customers is at stake during a weather crisis and there is a critical need for timely and accurate communication from the utilities.

AARP Oklahoma calls for more direct communication from our utilities. Utilities can call, text or email customers regarding upcoming payments, late bills, disconnections, and selling outside services. Will the same tactics be used in a timely matter during a weather emergency? Utilities must communicate directly with customers regarding conservation information and communicate when prices will significantly impact future bills,” he added.

Voskuhl went on to state that higher bills will likely come out of higher usage during extreme weather, but what help is available to customers.

 AARP Oklahoma urges a moratorium on customer disconnections for non-payment and again calls for a moratorium on future rate hikes. The utilities have had nearly two years to learn from the disastrous Winter Storm Uri which cost Oklahomans billions of dollars while netting record-profits for the utilities.”  

AARP also cited the top beneficiaries from Winter Storm Uri, based on information from the Corporation Commission.

NextEra Energy ranked top at $429,830,427. 

SW Energy $410,166,393.

Tenaska $351,626,616.

Koch $177,870,603.

Macquire $153,722.734.

Sequent $150,576,704.

Spire $124,042,885.

Chevron $108,736,777.

ETC Marketing $93,878,383.

Excelon $73,761,323.