Oklahoma Corporation Commission announces settlement on OG&E rate increase request

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says it has made a decision on a local electric company’s request for a rate increase.

Last December, OG&E asked the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for an annual rate increase of nearly $78 million. The company says that it was updating coal-fired units at the Sooner Power Plant and the Muskogee Power Plant in order to comply with federal regulations.

As a result, the company says that it needed to increase rates by $78 million annually to “recover its investment.”

However, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said the company should actually reduce costs for customers rather than raise rates.

Hunter says after looking at the company’s filing and listening to expert testimony, OG&E should reduce rates by $32 million instead of raising them.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission announced that it had made its decision on the request.

Officials tell News 4 that the settlement that was approved allows OG&E to recover its costs through the existing rate base, meaning there will be no change in rates for customers.

“Today’s decision again shows how public utility customers, big or small, and including low-income individuals, continue to benefit from the lower corporate tax rates of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” Commission vice-chair Bob Anthony said. “Furthermore, the agreement means cleaner power, with the installation of scrubbers at the Sooner plant in Red Rock and the conversion of the Muskogee plant to natural gas.”

OG&E estimates the improvements at the Sooner and Muskogee generation plants will mean a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005. They also expect a nearly 75 percent drop in nitrogen oxides emissions and a 90 percent reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions.

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