bills to go up
TULSA — Customers of Public Service Co. of Oklahoma will pay higher bills beginning in May after the electric utility said its cost of fuel had increased.
PSO said residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see their bills go up by $5.68, an increase of 6 percent.
The utility said a spike in natural gas prices from colder winter weather led to the higher fuel costs. Fuel costs for utilities are passed along to customers. PSO said it had $27 million in under-recovered fuel expenses.
PSO said it extended the recovery period to 12 months instead of the usual six months to soften the effect of the increase on customers. The utility plans to review its fuel costs again in November.
“PSO understands that higher natural gas prices adversely impact customers in many ways, including their electric bill, which is why we’re extending the recovery period to reduce the impact on customers,” said Bobby Mouser, PSO’s director of customer services and marketing.
Fuel-cost adjustments by utilities are administrative filings that don’t need the approval of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The adjustments are audited by the commission’s public utility division to make sure utilities don’t make a profit on fuel costs.
PSO has about 540,000 electric customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.