Those opposed to the growing effort of the state’s major utilities to get the legislature to adopt a Performance Based Rates law might say the Chicksaw Tribal Utility Authority just added fuel to the fire.
The Authority came out in support of the PBR issue, claiming it promotes “stability by gradually recovering the investments needed to build resilient and reliable electric infrastructure.”
In an announcement this week by Frank S. Johnson Sr., Executive Director and Chairman of the Chickasaw Tribal Utility Authority, he said such Performance Based Rates “have been successfully used to regulate the prices of Oklahoma’s natural gas utilities for 20 years, and the state’s electric utilities should be regulated using the same process.”
Johnson went on to state he believes the PBR would eliminate regulatory gaps and make sure that customer rates are reviewed every single year by the Corporation Commission.
“Performance Based Rates also protects customers by ensuring rate increases do not occur if the electric company’s earnings are within the Commission-approved level and ensuring any earnings above that level are returned to customers.”
Johnson also said the Chickasaw Nation believes that a PBR system would support continued investment in Oklahoma’s critical infrastructure while keeping the state’s electric rates among the lowest in the country.
The Corporation Commission approved a Notice of Inquiry last summer in which it held reviews of PBRs and the issue of Right of First Refusal. It plans a Feb. 6 public meeting where Performance Based Rates will be discussed in depth.
In a filing on the PBR topic, Commissioner Bob Anthony offered a PBR study by the state of Iowa. The study offered regulatory comparisons of rates in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and South Dakota. It also referred to the 2021 Winter Storm Uri and the impact it had on rates in those states.
“Accordingly, Oklahoma and this OCC NOI may benefit from the “Review of Current Iowa Code Provisions and Ratemaking Procedures” recently received—from Sarah M.Martz, P.E. member of the Iowa Utilities Board,” stated the Commissioner.