OKLAHOMA CITY -- A settlement that will result in cheaper energy rates for thousands of Oklahomans has been approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
In December, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed five motions with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission asking for an immediate reduction in customer rates from the state's leading utility companies, including OG&E. This came after a federal tax reform bill was signed into law, lowering the highest corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission unanimously approved a $64 million settlement with OG&E to reduce rates for customers. Under this settlement, average residential customers will see savings of roughly $4.44 a month.
“In December of last year, when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was still pending legislation, I sent a message to all U.S. utility regulators calling attention to the fact that without immediate action by state utility commissions to protect consumers, regulated utilities could over-collect billions in federal taxes on their customers’ bills,” said Commissioner Bob Anthony. “As I’ve said before, utilities should not be allowed to keep a windfall tax gain at the expense of consumers. The refund and rate reductions we’ve approved for OG&E customers today will have a direct impact on the pocketbooks of Oklahoma families and businesses – large and small. These are real savings. This is real money. I look forward to similar savings for customers of the state’s other regulated utilities.”
Next month, residential customers should expect a savings of nearly $19. That figure includes the ongoing reduction rate, plus a one-time refund from a federal tax reform bill signed into law in December.
"We like it when the parties can get together and work together, but we always have to remember it has to be a solution that’s really in the public’s interest and this, I think, met those standards," OCC chair Dana Murphy told News 4.
According to the OCC, OG&E initially requested a rate increase of about $70 million, then lowered the request to an increase of $1.8 million.