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Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners approves PSO order to raise prices

Posted at 5:47 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 06:47:56-05

TULSA, Okla. — Just days after Public Service of Oklahoma customers approved a franchise renewal, PSO has announced rates will be going up.

In an effort to recover costs from last February's winter storm, PSO will be raising rates for the next two decades. It's similar to that of Oklahoma Natural Gas.

A nearly $700 million audit will now be showing up on PSO bills. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission issued an order yesterday approving the cost recovery plan.

This plan is to recover the money spent during the storm.

Commission Chairman Dana Murphy says the decision will use the state's Securitization Law to cap the price customers will pay to bring down the debt.

Without securitization, bills would have an estimated $476 added on each month. With it, customers will instead be paying an extra $4.06 on average each month for the next 20 years.

Commissioner Todd Hiett says while raising rates is never their first choice, it must be done to recover the costs.

“It is painful for all of us to bear the additional costs from the storm, but the loss of heat leading to home damage and possibly loss of life is what would have resulted if these audited purchases had not been made."

Meanwhile, AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl asked Attorney General John O'Connor to go after those who he says "price gouged" millions of Oklahomans, saying"

"Here we are again with yet another unacceptable ruling by the majority of the Corporation Commissioners that shifts more winter storm costs to residential customers and older Oklahomans."

The decision also requires PSO to take steps in improving their fuel supply plans to protect customers in the future.

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