OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Public Utilities Division and OG&E have been instructed to have a “proposed order” to Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners by Wednesday, Nov. 9 concerning the electric companies added fuel cost adjustment fee.

The proposed order would be a requested or suggested resolution. The two groups have been going over testimony during a two-day public hearing before the OCC.

The hearing came about after OG&E planned to add almost $22 to customers monthly fees to recoup about half a billion dollars in losses from fuel costs during the summer months.

The fee was set to take affect Oct. 1, but the state’s Public Utilities Division requested the OCC allow a public hearing to take a closer look at the added costs.  

During the hearing, OG&E attorneys explained the costs, why they were necessary, and said the company could not “benefit” financially from the fees.

However, representatives from the Attorney Generals’ office, AARP, and the Oklahoma Industrial Electric Consumers wanted an explanation as to why the electric company did not plan for higher costs or find other options to save customers.

One option discussed during the hearing was using the company’s remaining coal resources, instead of natural gas, which could have been a cheaper option. OG&E’s director of fuels and market operations, Darrell Wilson, said transportation would not have allowed for that opportunity.

Another option discussed was buying fuel at a lower price from a secondary market, as well as a financial hedging plan that capped at $10 million.

Commissioner chairman, Dana Murphy, made her recommendations known and said she wanted a decision soon. She said the corporation commission needed to be more involved when high-priced problems arose.

“That component was missing,” said Murphy. “We need greater communication with the commissioners when something like this is going on.”

Once the two parties submit their proposed solutions, the commissioners will vote. That vote hasn’t been scheduled yet.

OG&E issued a statement to KFOR following Friday’s hearing:

“Over the last two days, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s hearing on the current OG&E Fuel Cost Adjustment due to sustained, high natural gas costs has highlighted for all stakeholders the impact rising costs of fuel have on customers.

OG&E will always be committed to producing the reliable, resilient, and secure electricity our customers need at the lowest cost possible. We will continue to be flexible to meet both customer and business needs. As the Commission’s hearing process continues into next week, we look forward to working with Commissioners, staff, and all stakeholders to best serve customers.”

OG&E also said their fuel cost adjustment fees would be $6 per month lower than customers at PSO and around $22 per month less than for Empire consumers.