OKLAHOMA CITY – It seems that OG&E customers will be getting some money back following a decision on a proposed rate increase by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
In 2016, OG&E proposed a rate increase of $92.5 million to cover expenses moving forward and to pay for work already done to the system.
“We’re asking to recover some of the cost of doing business to continue the reliability that OG&E has been providing for a hundred and some years now,” Randy Swanson, a spokesperson with OG&E, told NewsChannel 4 in May.
According to documents filed with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the company “is not earning sufficient operating income to produce a fair and reasonable return on capital or a fair and reasonable return on the value of its plant, property and other assets dedicated to public utility service within the state of Oklahoma.”
OG&E said the proposed increase would add an average of $7 a month to a customer’s bill.
The proposal didn’t come without concerns from the public.
“It’s time to stop protecting profits for major corporations like OG&E and start protecting the families of Oklahoma, people who are going to have to choose between buying groceries and paying their electric bill,” said Elise Robillard, with the group Voices Organized in Civic Engagement.
However, company officials said it was a necessary move.
“Nobody likes to raise rates. I’m a customer. I’d prefer to not pay more rates, as well. But, to keep the lights on, we have to come to the commission and ask to be paid for the investment we’ve already made,” Swanson said.
In fact, OG&E already implemented an interim $69.5 million rate increase at the end of June since the case still hadn’t been decided.
In December, Corporation Commission Administrative Law Judge Ben Jackson recommended that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission grant OG&E a rate increase worth $60.3 million.
On Monday, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission strayed from the proposed rate increase and even the recommendation.
Instead, commissioners granted OG&E a rate increase worth just $8.9 million, which equals out to an additional 72 cents a month for the average OG&E customer.
However, it seems that OG&E will be forced to pay customers back millions.
Since the company already enacted a $69.5 million rate increase at the end of June, it will now be forced to refund customers the money it collected over the $8.9 million plus interest.