OGE Proposes Rate Increase For ‘Oklahoma Grid Enhancement Plan’

Friday, September 25th 2020, 10:19 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

Are you willing to pay more for electricity? OG&E is hoping to raise its rates for upgrades they say will improve reliability. 

Over the course of the 5-year proposed plan, approximately $810 million will be generated.  

The increase in our technology use, OG&E says, has also increased the need to make sure lights stay on.  

“There is never a good time for an increase but this increase I think comes at a time when we need it most and to make the investments in our system and create a more reliable and resistant grid,” said Brian Alford, an OG&E spokesman.  

Pole upgrades, to new state of the art technology, are among several different projects that make up the enhancement plan.

“This is equipment that can see how the system is performing and work power around problems, to do a lot of different things that today we do not have the technology to do,” said Alford. 

A pilot program is already complete in Arkansas which experiences similar weather conditions. OG&E says there, they’ve seen a 90% increase in reliability. 

“Being involved in this pandemic like we are, we are all working from home, we’re learning from home,” said Alford. “Reliable, resilient electric grid is more important today than it was six months ago, how we are all depending on it for a lot of different things.” 

At the end of the 5-year proposed plan, rates would be increased gradually up to 7%. That equals to an average about $7 more a month, according to OG&E, about $84 a year. 

“Today our rates are lower than we were in 2011 so we want to be good stewards of our customers' dollars and have worked to do that over the last decade or so,” said Alford.  

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is scheduled to begin hearings on OG&E’s request for a mechanism to recover expenditures related to its Grid Enhancement Plan at 8:30 a.m., October 8, 2020, in Courtroom 301 on the third floor of the Jim Thorpe Building located at 2101 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105.   

Public comments regarding the cause will be taken on October 7, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 301 in the Jim Thorpe Building. 

The hearing will be held each business day and continue until concluded. 

Depending on whether or not the plan is approved will determine when the rate hike will begin.