Editor’s Note: The video from the original version has been replaced to clarify the vote tally during the meeting.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted 2-0 on Tuesday to approve a requested settlement by the Attorney General’s Office that would place a cap on a residential rate increase from Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO).
The rate increase was granted on November 3, 2023.
Shortly after, Attorney General Gentner Drummond teamed up with AARP and the Public Utilities Division to ask for a settlement motion that would include a 2.5 percent cap.
The cap would reduce the planned increase for the average residential customer from $5.35 a month down to $3.57.
According to the Corporation Commission, when you couple the cap with the planned decrease in fuel charges, it would decrease the average PSO customer’s monthly bill by nearly $14 a month starting in January.
Large corporations and industrial companies showed up at Tuesday’s meeting against the AG’s proposed cap.
Spokespersons from Walmart and Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers said the cap would send up costing bigger businesses more money since they use more electricity.
“Harming public schools, hospitals, military bases, stores, oil and gas industry, college and universities, agriculture, farmers, along with larger and small business in PSO territory,” said Tim Schroedter, executive director for OIEC.
After the rate cap was approved by the Corporation Commission, AG Drummond issued the following statement:
I commend each commissioner for standing with Oklahoma families in support of lower utility bills. I am grateful the commissioners thoughtfully considered our argument to protect PSO residential customers. Oklahoma families struggling with the effects of inflation deserve greater relief when it comes to utility costs, and today they received that relief. I look forward to working with the Commission on future rate cases to protect the interests of all ratepayers.
Also during the meeting, discussions about the AG’s subpoena of the Corporation Commission. Two weeks ago, he subpoenaed all documents linked to Winter Storm Uri from everyone involved in the decision-making at the commission.
Drummond said he wanted to check for market manipulation in the cost of utilities, which ended up costing Oklahomans billions of dollars.
Commissioner Anthony questioned whether or not everyone involved was cooperating, including former commissioners, financial advisors, and legal aids.
“You can be involved a little bit or a lot, but you’re involved,” said Anthony.
KFOR asked AG Drummond how he felt the process was going.
“We have absolute complete and full cooperation from the commission staff in the production of the documents as we go out and challenge metal marketers on their exploitation of Oklahoma,” said Drummond.
The AG’s Office said they expect to have a decision on Winter Storm Uri in about three months.