TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners met to decide on measures proposed by Oklahoma Natural Gas to recoup costs from last February's winter storm.
The OCC approved a plan for paying the natural gas costs but turned down a proposal that would have imposed a fee on ONG customers who terminate their natural gas service to switch to a different fuel source.
“While the law and the record support the Order’s provisions to lower customers’ bills from what they’d otherwise be billed for the February 2021 storm and to extend out the repayment time frame, we weren’t persuaded to impose a termination fee,” said Murphy.
Murphy said the order allows the costs to be securitized under a law passed by the legislature after the February winter emergency event.
“This means that the monthly impact to ratepayers will be far less than it otherwise would have been,” Murphy said. “It’s estimated that the natural gas costs owed would have cost an average residential consumer $15.32 per month without securitization. Securitization allows the cost to be spread out over up to 25 years, dropping the monthly payment to an estimated $7.82 for the majority of ONG customers.”
ONG gave a statement after the vote was taken:
Oklahoma Natural Gas is pleased by the order issued by the OCC today that includes the removal of a termination fee that had been proposed in a previous stipulation. The OCC’s approval of this order allows customers to participate in the securitization mechanism over an extended period and in a manageable manner. The termination fee was not originally proposed by ONG and we want to reiterate the intent was never to restrict the choice of ONG customers’ access to energy sources. Now that the decision has been made to approve the securitization mechanism and to remove this termination fee, we look forward to working with the OCC and the ODFA throughout the remainder of the process.
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