TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma Natural Gas customers will soon pay a little more on their monthly bills to help cover the cost of last year’s winter storm.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted Tuesday to approve part of an ONG’s plan to help recover $1.3 billion.
Last April ONG started working on a plan to recover the cost of last February’s storm. The plan will increase the average customer’s monthly bill by 7.82 cents over the next 25 years which adds up to more than $2,000.
ONG originally wanted to include a ‘cancellation fee’ for customers who want to go all electric. However, the OCC voted against that Tuesday.
The money collected from the monthly bills will help pay back fuel costs which rose sharply during the storm. The plan allows ONG to use bonds to pay the “storm damage debt.” Meanwhile, customers gradually repay those bonds over the next two decades.
Dawn Russell, an ONG customer in Perry, is among some customers who are upset over the price hike.
“Just evidence of big business putting the screws to all the other people,” Russell said.
ONG says with this plan, “customers would have paid more than $1,000 extra on their April 2021 bills.” The company says the cost is spread over a longer period of time, making it more manageable for customers.
The monthly financial impact will vary customer-to-customer. Most customers who use more than 50 dekatherms will pay about $8.00 extra each month. Customers who use less than 50 will pay about $5.00 more.
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