OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Cities that belong to large unregulated electric provider, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, are breaking the news to their residents that there will likely be an increase in the power bill.
Unlike customers with OG&E, it’s up to the city to decide what rates will look like for their residents.
KFOR spoke with city officials from Edmond, Purcell and Ponca City about their plans, but the bottom line is that until the Southwest Power Pool processes how much everything will cost and slaps a bill on cities, the city utilities don’t know exactly what this will look like for a household’s bills.
“It’s really too early to know what those things look like until we get an idea of costs,” said City of Edmond spokesperson Casey Moore.
What those and the 39 other cities who get power from OMPA can say with some confidence is that there will likely be an unavoidable increase in costs.
Purcell City Manager Dale Bunn explained that while OMPA typically pays $3 per million BTUs, over the severe winter storm, it was buying at prices reaching between $400 to $1,000.
Then the big bill coming down the pipe must end up on customers.
“Their bills are going to go up because of this event. They have to,” said Ponca City City Manager Craig Stephenson.
The power bill includes charges associated with getting the power into homes, but a percentage of it is also used to fund other services that help the city run.
“To support police and fire, parks and library and streets,” Stephenson said.
They are costs that are already accounted for, and those we talked to said they can’t be ignored.