Oklahoma City, Okla. — AARP Oklahoma is calling on members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to reject OG&E’s requested $77.6 million per year electric rate increase which would raise the average residential customer’s bill by more than $90 per year. Among other components of the rate increase, the utility company is requesting a 70 percent increase in the monthly fixed charge paid by customers, which is the fee customers pay before they even turn on their lights.
“Utility bills are a critical pocketbook issue for Oklahomans, especially older adults and those on low or fixed incomes,” said Sean Voskuhl, AARP Oklahoma state director. “Oklahomans struggling to pay for food, housing and medicines cannot afford to see a significant increase in their utility bills, particularly when it is not justified.”
The filing submitted by OG&E to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission raised questions about the reasons for requesting such a massive annual rate increase. “Transparency is critically important in evaluating whether any rate increase is justified or fair to customers,” said Voskuhl. “OG&E has claimed publicly that its proposed $77.6 million per year rate increase is necessary to recover costs related to environmental compliance. However, OG&E’s filing with the Commission indicates that much of the additional revenue would be going instead to help the utility depreciate its assets faster and for increased profits on its operations.”
AARP has a long history of involvement in utility rate cases, fighting to ensure that customers only pay what is fair and reasonable for reliable electric service and not a dollar more. AARP Oklahoma will encourage its 400,000 members statewide to speak out on this issue and attend a public comment session at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission on May 28 at 1:30 p.m. Public hearings on this rate increase are set to begin May 29 at 8:30 a.m. The public comment session and hearings will be held at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, 2101 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Individuals may also call 1-844-248-8224 toll-free or click THIS LINK and urge Corporation Commissioners to reject OG&E’s massive rate increase.