Oklahoma Corporation Commission rejects OG&E's $24 million interim rate increase

Commissioners said Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. waived its right to implement interim rates if a rate case takes longer than 180 days to resolve.
by Paul Monies Modified: June 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm •  Published: June 7, 2012

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission rejected a $24 million interim rate increase Thursday for Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. customers.

Commissioners, in a 3-0 ruling, agreed with the AARP that OG&E's attorneys waived the electric utility's right to implement interim rates at a January hearing.

Under state law, utilities have the right to implement interim rates if a rate case takes longer than 180 days to resolve. OG&E filed for a $73.25 million rate increase in July.

The utility said two weeks ago it would implement the $24 million interim rate increase. The increase started June 2, although customers have not yet received bills at the higher rate.

AARP asked an administrative law judge to reject OG&E's interim rate increase at a hearing last week. The judge agreed with AARP, and commissioners heard the matter on Monday but declined to issue an order at that time.

In a separate matter, OG&E customers will see lower bills starting this summer from an adjustment in fuel charges. Lower natural gas prices in the last year meant the utility paid less for natural gas used for electricity generation. Utilities pass the cost of fuel directly through to customers.

Fuel costs are usually adjusted at least once a year, but they can be revisited if there are large swings in fuel prices or at the discretion of Oklahoma Corporation Commission staff.

OG&E customers overpaid for natural gas used by the utility by $50 million. A typical residential customer will pay about $2.60 less per month because of the fuel adjustment.

by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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