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Regulators OK settlement in Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. rate case

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved a $4.3 million settlement reached in Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.'s rate case.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: July 9, 2012

State regulators on Monday signed off on a $4.3 million settlement that will result in most Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. customers paying less for their power.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted unanimously to approve the settlement reached by the state’s largest utility company and a handful of customer advocates. The deal closes a long-running rate case that began almost a year ago.

Chairwoman Dana Murphy said she was satisfied the agreement, which was announced last week, was in the public's best interests.

It gives OG&E a rate increase well below the $73 million it sought last July, but Brandy Wreath, acting director of the commission's public utility division, said the agreement's 10.2 percent return on equity balances the needs of the company's investors and customers.

OG&E had asked for an 11 percent return on equity.

Most OG&E customers will end up paying less for their electricity under the new agreement, although the bulk of the reductions are small. Average residential customers will save about 9 cents a month, according to the company's figures.

Melodie Garneau with Voices Organized in Civic Engagement Action Fund, a group of churches and civic groups, said she was pleased with the settlement.

“We consider it a win,” said Garneau, a group leader from Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ.

“We're told by the commission staff that our continued presence and comments bringing forward the concerns of families had a real impact on the process.”

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