OKLAHOMA - Thousands of Oklahoma electric users are shocked after a message was sent out Monday warning residents of a possible rate hike.
The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority supplies power to 42 cities across Oklahoma.
Its largest customer is Edmond.
The wholesale supplier told its customers the legislature was discussing taking part of its revenue to help fill the hole in the budget.
In turn, the city of Edmond notified Edmond Electric customers.
“IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO EDMOND ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS:
It has come to the attention of Edmond Electric that the state legislature is considering requiring our wholesale power supplier, the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA), to contribute a portion of its revenue to the state’s general fund.
OMPA is a 'cost of service' organization that is not appropriated by the state and is funded entirely through the sale of electric power. Therefore, any move by the state to require funding from OMPA to offset the state’s budget would be a direct cost to Edmond Electric and its customers. This is a cost that other non-municipal-electric-served cities and their customers in Oklahoma would not have to pay.
We urge you to contact your state representative and state senator immediately to oppose this tax on Edmond Electric customers. OMPA will continue to monitor activities in connection with the budget crisis.
You can find your legislators at this link: www.oklegislature.gov/findmylegislature.aspx.”
"Typically, we base our rates upon what our costs are, and so we're more reactionary to, you know, if our costs go up as an electric service, then we have to raise the cost for residents," said Casey Moore with the City of Edmond.
State leaders told NewsChannel 4 there is no proposed legislation to take revenue from OMPA, it was only talked about.
Word of the discussion is sparking conversation among paying customers.
"My opinion is, you know, the state should take care of it not us. Why do you always pass the cost to the consumer?" said Michale Etami.
"I understand about shortfalls, because I'm in that same mode every month, but I think they could cut their pay raises,” said another Edmond Electric customer. “I think there are other ways to raise money.”
There is a proposed bill involving the Grand River Dam Authority, which provides power to northeastern Oklahoma.
It would force the GRDA to give 2 percent of its annual revenue to the state’s general revenue fund.
The Speaker of the House office said no action is being taken on that bill currently.