Corporation Commissioners get an earful from OGE customers about utility’s $332 million rate hike request



While school administrators, economic development directors, and city representatives recently lined up to support OG&E’s $332 million rate hike request, citing the utility as “responsible and reliable,” the on-line comments sent to Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners are a different story.

Many comments listed at the Corporation Commission indicated direct opposition by residential customers, many of whom are retired.

This is another example of this utility trying to make their ratepayers fund money to expand their electric charging stations for electric cars no one are buying!! It’s a total waste of
ratepayers money to fund something that will never replace gasoline car engines!!” wrote one customer.

Still another was “wholly opposed” to the rate increase of an estimated amount of $19.02 per month.

This increase is excessive and over a period of a year amounts to approximately two months of bills thereby making it 14 months of bill over a 12 month period. My average bills range from $80 to $120 not counting two months in the winter. $19.07 x 12 = 228.24 more for the year or equal to 14 month in a 12 month year. Add onto that the State and Local taxes this makes it exorbitant
While I understand rate increases this is excessive and gouging.”

The comments are part of case PUD 2023-000087 and lay out OGE’s plans and explanation of its request.

“I strongly disagree with the OG&E request for an increase in the cost of electricity for their customers. I believe that if they looked internally they could reduce their costs substantially without asking for customers to pay. The Corporation Commission has already granted WAY TOO MANY increases in the past,” wrote one customer.

Another customer said the additional $19.02 a month would be a “hardship.”

” Many senior citizens are on a fixed income and OG&E already realizes their is a need for assistance because they have a comment on the front page of the bill to help those having trouble paying their utility bills by adding a few extra dollars to your bill payment. Why would OG&E think their customers can afford such an increase to their monthly bill. I’m asking you to reconsider this rate increase.”

One man from Noble was blunt in what he thought of the OG&E request.

I recently had a time of unemployment while changing to another job which set me behind in bills. When my electric service was suspended for nonpayment for 1 day oge then added a deposit required on my account of 580.00. This was after 8 years of continued uninterrupted servìce. 580.00 on top of my next months bill plus a reconnect fee of thirty dollars even though
with my smart meter the service was reconnected electronicly. Thanks OGE. I would give an index finger to be free of this sorry public utility that one must have in todays world in order to

Then there was the comment from a man in Bristow.

“Good afternoon. First, allow me to express my disgust with how the information was provided. The email begins by informing us of the price reduction on our bills due to the reduced price in natural gas. It seems like the email ends, however, if you continue to scroll down you then find OG&E is planning on increasing their rates by $332.5 million, and how much that would affect my bill. The way it was delivered was misleading, and I’m sure wasn’t caught by most of the people receiving the notice.
Second, I disagree with the rate increase at this time. America’s economy is horrible and people are already feeling the pressure. Debt is at an all time high for many families, and the rate increase feels like a slap to the face. I understand the reduction for fuel will be slightly more than the increase rate (possibly, not guaranteed) but OG&E is doing this at a time when people won’t realize much of a change. That is at least until the fuel charge increases again. If there is to be a reduction in the fuel price, then allow the OG&E customers to enjoy the break. $19 may not seem like much to those who are above the poverty class, but it means something to those of us that are already hurting.”

A woman in Ardmore was also upset about the request.

“Please say “NO” for once to OG&E for this rate increase. This is ridiculous to Increase rates as often as they request. Their request this time is for additional funds so that they can achive a 10.5% rate of return on investments! You have approved so many increases there is not room on the bill to list all the “RIDERS” that are passed on to us. We are forced to use OG&E as our only provider because you don’t allow any competition which is good for the consumer! Other states allow competition but not here. The Okla citizens are fed up and hurting waiting for you to do something. They must contribute a lot to your election campaign because you always approve. I beg you to SAY NO to OG&E.” 

The AARP is one group opposed to OG&E’s  rquest and in its response said it supported the utility’s proposals for allocating transmission and wind production relate costs. However, it contends the 9.5% to 10.5% Return on Equity sought by OG&E will result in additional costs to customers. The AARP pointed out in its filing that recommendations from the Commission’s Public Utilities Division and the Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers recommend a return on equity of 9.00% to 9.30%. The Attorney General recommended a ROE of 9.5%.

Another growing cost to customers, according to the AARP, would be if the utility were allowed to use 53.5% of its capital structure to be calculated as equity and 45.6% calculated as debt funding. Again, the PUD and OIEC recommended 53.5% and 44.80%. The Attorney General urged a 50% equity layer.

Meanwhile, the AARP is gearing up for further opposition to the utility’s  request, announcing a planned interactive telephone town hall on June 6 at 10 a.m. It stated the focus would be AARP’s  continued advocacy efforts at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission regarding utility rate hikes for natural gas and electric customers.

AARP Oklahoma will discuss OG&E’s $332.5 million rate hike that, if approved, will cost customers $19 more a month or $228 a year. Participants will also learn about the $218 million requested rate hike from PSO that, if approved, will cost customers nearly $16 more a month or approximately $192 a year.

The panelists for the interactive town hall, Sean Voskuhl, AARP Oklahoma State Director, and A.J. Singer, AARP Oklahoma utility attorney, will be actively engaging with participants. They will field questions, respond to Facebook comments and questions, and guide participants on how to contact the Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners to voice their concerns against the proposed rate hikes.


Join the virtual conversation on the AARP Oklahoma Facebook page. Indicate your interest in the Facebook event and receive a notification when it begins.


June 6, 2024

10 a.m.