Residential customers of Public Service Co. of Oklahoma will pay about $3 more per month on their electric bills starting in November under a proposed rate case settlement.
The higher costs will go toward the rollout of smart meters to more than 520,000 PSO customers. The installation should be complete by the end of 2016, the utility said.
PSO filed for a rate increase of $45 million in January, which would have increased customer bills by almost $4 per month. The proposed settlement, filed late Tuesday with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, would grant PSO an increase of $24 million.
The increase would be levied as a separate rider on customer bills beginning in November 2014 through December 2015. For residential customers, the increase would be an extra $3.11 per month. Commercial customers would pay another $3.88 per month, while small industrial customers would pay an extra $6.71 per month, according to the proposed settlement.
PSO expects the smart meter rider to increase by about 30 cents in 2016 and then be included as part of its overall rates to be calculated in a future rate case.
AARP Oklahoma said it opposed the proposed settlement because it doesn’t do enough for PSO’s residential customers.
“PSO shouldn’t be given an open checkbook to pay for its flawed smart meter expansion that will cost its customers nearly $133 million,” said Sean Voskuhl, AARP’s state director. “This settlement will also increase residential customers’ monthly fixed charge from $16 to $20. AARP also advocates for creation of a low-income program — similar to one already established by OG&E — that will help thousands of older Oklahomans who are struggling to pay their electric bills.”
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