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Wind power getting cheaper for Oklahoma utility customers

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. has slashed the price this year for customers who want to get all or part of their power from wind.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Modified: June 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm •  Published: June 14, 2013
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Public Service Co. of Oklahoma offers a similar program.

The Tulsa-based utility currently has about 675 customers enrolled in its WindChoice program, which costs an additional $1.72 for 100 kilowatts of wind power.

PSO has nearly 700 megawatts of wind power in its portfolio.

Affordable option

Newcombe said reasonable prices make wind power an attractive proposition. The average OG&E customer pays an extra $3.50 a month to get all of its power from wind.

“It doesn't take much of a commitment to go for 100 percent,” he said.

Newcombe said most of the customers who have chosen the wind option recently have been young people and families.

“They're really responding to our wind power message,” he said.

OG&E now is targeting customers who signed up for its SmartHours program, a voluntary program that allows customers to adjust their electricity use to avoid higher prices in summer months.

Newcombe said the program helps participants save money on their electric bills, so most are willing to reinvest that savings in cleaner power.

“They're a little more aware,” he said. “They're interested in doing anything they can to help control demand.”

Newcombe noted Oklahoma universities are committed to wind power as well.

The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University have struck deals with OG&E to use wind for their electricity needs, while Rose State College is a participant in the utility's Wind Power program.


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At a glance

By the numbers

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. customers can choose to get part or all of their electricity from wind power. The utility's Wind Power program costs a few extra dollars a month for the average customer, who uses about 12,000 kilowatts of electricity a year.

25 percent = $1.13 more a month.

50 percent = $2 more a month.

100 percent = $3.50 more a month.

About 12,000 OG&E customers have signed up to get their power from wind.

Information

To sign up for OG&E's Wind Power program, customers can call (800) 272-9741 or log in to their account on oge.com. The website will show customers how much power they use and how much it will cost to switch to wind.

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