OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma’s Public Utilities Department filed a motion to hold a hearing, asking questions about the recent charges proposed by OG&E to its customers for fuel cost adjustments.
The “motion to determine notice” was filed in the Oklahoma Corporation Commission court clerk’s office shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesperson Matt Skinner said OG&E would have five days to respond to the filing.
“We need a hearing with all stakeholders at the table. Such groups as AARP, the attorney general who represents consumers before the Commission, Energy and other groups to all be involved in an open public hearing on these costs,” said Sinner. “What’s being done about them? What actions were taken to mitigate them whenever possible and what the future holds?”
This comes as one Oklahoma group reacted to the news of the potential new charges. AARP Oklahoma said Oklahomans simply can’t afford any more added costs.
“Enough is enough,” said Sean Voskuhl, state director for AARP Oklahoma. He said the new fee would make already overwhelming bills even harder to pay.
“We really haven’t heard anything from OG&E on what they’re going to do to help customers during this time,” said Voskuhl.
OG&E told KFOR it planned to add a “fuel cost adjustment” fee to customers bills, starting in October. The charge was to recoup costs on rising prices for natural gas and coal due to inflation.
The fees would be nothing new for utility companies but when you factor in the price tag, which is close to $500 million over two years, as well as a recent rate hike and the 2021 winter storm charges, Voskuhl said it has become overwhelming and out of control.
“The unfortunate part, the customers are making OG&E profitable,” said Voskuhl. “They’re putting OG&E in a profitable situation, and it’s not reciprocated.”
OG&E responded with a statement to KFOR and said,
“We understand our customers depend on us daily to energize their lives, which is why we work hard to keep energy bills as low as possible. Every monthly bill includes the cost of fuel, and electric companies like OG&E usually adjust the factor used to determine the cost of fuel on the bill each year.”