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Oklahoma electric utility PSO asks for rate increase totaling $45 million

Tulsa-based Public Service Co. of Oklahoma said if regulators approve its request, the typical residential customer would see an increase of almost $4 per month.
by Paul Monies Published: January 17, 2014

Electric utility Public Service Co. of Oklahoma filed for a $45 million rate increase with regulators Friday but said it wants the changes to take effect after the peak summer months.

If approved, the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity would see an increase of $3.97 per month, PSO said.

The Tulsa-based utility, with 540,000 electric customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma, said its filing with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission supports a rate increase of 4 percent.

Stuart Solomon, PSO’s president and chief operating officer, said the filing includes recovery of costs to install smart meters across its customer base and investments totaling $500 million since the utility’s last rate case in 2010.

“Even with this modest price increase, amounting to about one percent per year since our last base rate increase, PSO’s rates remain among the lowest in the United States,” Solomon said in a statement. “Together with service reliability that ranks among the best in the nation, PSO continues to provide great value for its customers.”

Several groups plan to weigh in on the rate case, including the Attorney General’s office, Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers and the AARP.

“AARP Oklahoma will be intervening in this rate case and fighting to ensure that PSO receives only what is fair and reasonable,” said Dusty Darr, associate state director of AARP Oklahoma. “We will thoroughly review today’s filing and continue advocating for affordable utilities on behalf of Oklahoma ratepayers.”

With the proposed increase, PSO said its overall rates would be 10 percent below the Oklahoma average and 29 percent lower than the national average.

PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford said residential customers would see their cost per kilowatt hour rise to 8.84 cents, up from 8.44 cents per hour. Commercial customer costs would go to 7.62 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 6.64 cents per hour. For industrial users, the cost would rise to 4.62 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 4.45 cents per hour.

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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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