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Oklahoma Gas and Electric reaches settlement in rate case

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. has reached a settlement in the case of a rate request filed last July. It will result in slightly lower electricity bills for OG&E's residential customers.
BY JAY F. MARKS Modified: July 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm •  Published: July 2, 2012

A settlement agreement appears poised to end Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.'s long-running rate case, the company announced Monday.

The utility company stands to get about a $4 million rate increase, although residential customers are expected to see their bills drop slightly because the agreement includes new rate designs and a lower rate of return on equity.

The settlement agreement will slash about 9 cents a month off the average residential customer's bill, while increasing the cost for highly subsidized municipal and security lighting customers, according to OG&E.

“This settlement, while challenging in terms of overall cost recovery, removes uncertainty and provides a path forward for the recovery of our investment in transmission assets,” OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said. “The level and timing of cost recovery will increasingly challenge us to meet growing electricity demand and maintain the same level of service our customers have come to expect.”

Consumer and industrial groups objected to OG&E's initial $73 million rate hike request, leading to talks that resulted in Monday's settlement.

“With many Oklahoma families struggling financially, we worked hard for an outcome that would protect Oklahoma consumers from higher utility rates while providing the necessary provisions for OG&E,” said Diane Clay, spokeswoman for Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt's office is responsible for representing Oklahoma consumers in utility cases.

Barney Allen, a member of consumer advocate AARP Oklahoma's executive council, said he was pleased with the rate case settlement.

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