In an attempt to minimize customers' bills, OG&E has filed an application with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
The application is to help the company recover fuel costs associated with the February winter storms and minimize the impact on customer bills.
The applications calls for including a portion of the associated fuel costs in its immediate recovery request, which would begin with the April 2021 billing cycle and continue the remainder of the calendar year.
The initial step would result in a fuel cost-related increase of less than 10% for an average residential customer's bill.
“Natural gas demand rose dramatically during the recent winter weather, which, combined with severe supply issues, caused a significant escalation in prices,” OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said in a news release. “We estimate the cost to support our customers’ demand during the record low cold temperatures to be approximately $1 billion in terms of natural gas and purchased power. To add perspective, this amount exceeds our total fuel costs for all of last year.”
The company is also seeking approval to establish alternative regulatory treatment that would delay recovery of the remaining and more substantial balance over a 10-year period beginning in January 2022.
Oklahoma residential customers may see a one-time increase in their February bill if they had increased usage during the intense cold.
“Our normal recovery process would create an excessive burden for our customers because it would require us to recover the fuel costs over the remainder of 2021. We do not want that, so we are taking this unprecedented step to ask the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to extend the recovery period to 10 years instead of a few months. This alternative approach will keep costs down for customers and support State leaders' efforts to lessen the burden on Oklahomans,” Alford said in a news release.