Drummond Files Motion in PSO Rate Case to Protect Residential Customers
Ponca City Now - November 17, 2023 6:25 am
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Gentner Drummond filed two motions on Monday, November 13 requesting the Oklahoma Corporation Commission modify its final order on Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s (PSO) rate request to ensure greater relief for residential customers.
In an initial settlement agreement hammered out by the Utility Regulation Unit of the Attorney General’s office, the AARP, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s own Public Utility Division, PSO’s proposed monthly residential increase was reduced from an average of $14 to $3.57, the result of a negotiated cap on the residential increase of 2.5 percent.
Despite the agreement, Corporation Commissioners made several modifications, resulting in a final order that significantly increases residential rates compared to the settlement agreement. This equates to an average monthly increase of $5.35 for residential customers, an amount 50 percent higher than the settlement negotiated by Attorney General Drummond.
“PSO ratepayers deserve better,” Drummond said. “I take my role of advocating for public utility consumers very seriously. My office worked diligently to craft an agreement to protect ratepayers as much as possible, and I am extremely disappointed that it was cast aside in favor of higher bills for residential customers. With inflation through the roof, consumers are already paying too much for basic goods and services. The last thing they need is unnecessary rate increases.”
In the motions filed, Drummond asked Corporation Commissioners to modify their final order to approve the previous settlement agreement. If the Commission does not approve the agreement, a second motion seeks a reinstatement of the lower residential rate to keep costs down for ratepayers and hold them harmless from the Commission’s modifications to the settlement agreement.