ONG asks for yet another rate hike

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Oklahoma Natural Gas Company customers might be in store for yet another rate hike, albeit a small one if Corporation Commissioners approve it Monday.

The consideration will come just a week after regulators approved a nearly $20 million rate hike for ONG, one that would increase a residential customer’s monthly bills by about $2 a month. (See OK Energy Today)

The approval last week drew a heated response from the AARP which called on Corporation Commissioners to end the continued rate hikes on customers of ONG and other utilities.

ONG has requested approval of what is called its Demand Portfolio of Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programs for Calendar Years 2023 through 2025. If approved, the increase in monthly bills for ONG residential customers would total $1.42 for calendar years 2023 through 2025, or another $17.04 a year, according to documents filed as part of the utility’s formal request. (Case No. PUD2022-000036)

A joint stipulation agreement in support of the request was signed by the Attorney General, the Commission’s Public Utilities Division and by ONG. It also urged the Corporation Commission to approve the request.

The request will be considered by Corporation Commissioners at their Monday meeting which will begin at 1:30 p.m.

In the request, ONG stated it proposed a reallocation of budget dollars to more closely reflect customer demands as revealed during the current program cycle.

ONG identified 9 such changes:

1. An increase in the budget for the LowIncome Energy Efficiency Assistance Program; 

2. An increase in the budget for the tankless water heater component of the Water Heater Replacement Program; 

3. An increase in the budget for the high efficiency gas furnace component of the Heating System Replacement Program, offset by a decrease in the budget for the electric to high efficiency gas furnace component of the program, which results in an overall decrease in the total budget dollars of the Heating System Replacement Program; 

4. A reduction of the total budget dollars for the Natural Gas Clothes Dryer Replacement Program resulting from a reduction in the budget for the standard efficiency component and an increase in the budget for the high efficiency component to reflect current and anticipated participation levels; 

5. An increase of total budget dollars for the New Homes Program, partially offset by a reduction in budgeted inducements for the installation of dryer stubs; 

6. An increase of total budget dollars for the Commercial Custom Program; 

7. A reduction in the amount budgeted for EM&V; 

8. An increase of total budget dollars for Program Administration; and 

9. An increase of total budget dollars for R&D.