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Oklahoma Gas &Electric customers will see higher electricity rates from interim increase

An administrative law judge heard arguments Thursday on Oklahoma Gas & Electric's decision to seek a $24 million interim increase as it awaits a resolution in a rate case filed last year. Separately, customers will see lower bills from a decrease in the fuel charge from lower natural gas prices.
by Paul Monies Published: June 1, 2012
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“You made a statement during the hearing, and we ask you to live up to your word,” Holsted said. “You didn't have to make that statement. You chose to make that statement. And you chose to make a statement that you will not implement a rate increase. And now you say today the only reason you're doing it is because the shareholders are entitled to the money.”

Rate cases typically take several months to resolve, but the last time a utility implemented an interim rate increase was in 2007. In that case, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma implemented interim rates almost two weeks after the 180-day deadline. But commission staff attorney Elizabeth Cates said in Thursday's hearing PSO had not previously indicated it would waive its right to implement interim rates.

Judge issues report

Meanwhile, Administrative Law Judge Jacqueline T. Miller on Wednesday issued her recommendation in the full rate case. The 305-page report directed OG&E to come up with a revised cost of service by Monday based on Miller's recommendation for a return on equity of 10.75 percent.

OG&E had requested a return on equity of 11 percent and a rate increase of $73.25 million to recover upgrade costs.

In testimony in the rate case in December and January, several groups asked for rate reductions ranging from $4 million to $57 million.

Parties in the rate case have 10 days to file their comments on the judge's recommendation. The judge's report is advisory, and any decision on the rate case will come from the three elected corporation commissioners.

“We are reviewing the lengthy report and carefully considering what our course of action will be,” said Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office.

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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Our motives were to keep costs down for our customers.”Bill Bullard

OG&E attorney

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