© 2024 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

OG&E customers to receive $25 a month reduction

home gas meters
Martin Wilson

OKLAHOMA CITY – Hundreds of thousands of OG&E customers will see their bills drop by about $25 a month starting in June due to a reduction in fuel costs.

But the utility has asked the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for a rate increase of $332 million, a figure which could change. The $332 million would be a hike of $19 per month for residential customers.

The $25 reduction is a result of lower fuel costs, primarily a drop in the cost of natural gas, said Christi Woodworth, an OG&E spokesperson.

Twice a year, OG&E and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission review the cost of fuel that it takes to produce electricity, she said.

“The charge can fluctuate up or down,” Woodworth said. “We don’t make any money on the purchases of fuel.”

The charge to the customer should be as close as possible to what OG&E is paying, she said.

“No, we did not overcharge,” she said. “What we have to do is project what we think the price is going to be. There is a range at which we can collect a certain amount over or under.”

Another fuel cost analysis will be done in the fall and could impact bills starting in November, she said.

In November 2023, bills went down by about $21 a month for the average residential customer, Woodworth said.

OG&E says its rate increase is needed to improve the electrical grid, add resources for tree trimming and forestry management and includes a $60 annual increase in senior citizen discount programs.

“The bulk of the rate review is on investments that improve reliability,” she said. “So, that could look like technology that can automatically reroute power, or switch power or something that allows someone in one of our control centers to reroute power.”

The fuel cost reduction is welcomed news, said Sean Voskuhl, AARP Oklahoma state director.

“Any way to reduce electricity costs is important for people living on a fixed income, struggling to pay for the high cost of food, prescription drugs and utility costs,” he said.

But a fuel cost reduction happens because customers paid that money in advance, he said.

OG&E has about 900,000 customers and a service area of 30,000 square miles.

OG&E is the largest and oldest electric company in the state, said Aaron Cooper, an OG&E spokesperson.

This story is from nonprofit news outlet Oklahoma Voice.