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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – We are seeing a clearer picture of costs for consumers in the ongoing saga to pay for power used during last February’s winter storm.

All Oklahoma utility companies were effected, but the state has now approved a plan for the two biggest players in this scenario, OG&E and ONG.

The plan is to pay back overage costs by using state government backed bonds to spread out the $2 billion tab that will be picked up by customers.

Since April, we have been hearing about plans to spread out costs for customers over time, so KFOR put pencil to paper to show you what that actually means for your budget.

“We think these charges are out of the ordinary we don’t think they are reasonable prudent or fair,” said Sean Voskuhl of AARP Oklahoma.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted 2-1 to approve a plan for ONG to use state-backed bonds to pay back an estimated $1.3 billion owed for energy used in February 2021. The estimated cost to most customers $7.82 per bill for 25 years.

Commissioner Todd Hiett saying in a statement

“The costs incurred during the storm were part of an all-out effort to keep lights on and furnaces working. Without the securitization law, the costs would be even higher for the ratepayer.”

Bob Anthony was the only dissenting vote on Tuesday saying, “In my opinion, these stipulated Ratepayer-Backed Bond proposals are ill-conceived, unconstitutional, and bad for residential ratepayers.”

So what will these bond plans really cost the average customer?

According to Corporation Commission numbers, if there was no payment plan put into place, most ONG customers would owe a one-time fee of $846, and for OG&E, a one-time fee of $454.14. That puts Oklahomans on the hook for $1,300.14 total cost for the storm with no interest.

With the approved bond plan, ONG’s charge of $7.82/a month over 25 years adds up to $2,346, and OG&E’s $2.12/a bill over 28 years comes to $712.32.

That brings the total to $3,058.32 for the average Oklahoma customer – $1,758 of that in interest.

“It’s too much money,” said Voskuhl.

AARP Oklahoma officials say the thousands in extra costs will hit seniors on fixed incomes especially hard.

They claim deeper looks need to be taken into price gouging claims, why the utility companies didn’t hedge their costs, and why they spent hundreds of times cost on the spot market.

“There are a lot of things that Oklahoma utilities could have done better,” said Voskuhl.

ONG declined our request for an interview, but claim they did hedge the energy purchases.

They say they bought and used gas the summer prior when costs were low. They also say they did all they could to avoid paying the highest prices on the spot market.

“We estimate that the use of gas we had in storage saved customers $1.4 billion.”

Oklahoma Natural Gas

ONG also pointed out there are no extra costs for low-income customers and no exit fee if you stop usage all together.

Additional protests are expected to be filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court.