Stillwater: What is Impact of Extreme Weather on Utility Bills
Mike Seals - February 23, 2021 10:49 pm
(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / Feb. 23, 2021) – The City of Stillwater wants to let its power customers know it is too early to know the impact of last week’s extreme cold weather on bills.
“We just don’t know at this point,” said City Manager Norman McNickle. “We are in discussion with Grand River Dam Authority (which provides electric power to Stillwater). In addition, Governor Stitt, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the American Public Power Association and others are evaluating the drastic jump in natural gas prices due to demand and shortage of supply.”
The next Stillwater utility billing cycle is February 26 and customers on that cycle will likely see an increase in their bill because of increased usage due to the extreme weather that hit the region.
However, the per kWh price for electricity is not changing at this time. So, any increases in a customer’s normal bill will be from increased usage, not an increase in electric rates.
“We cannot increase what we charge for energy without approval from the Stillwater Utilities Authority trustees,” McNickle said. “It’s just too early to know what the impact might be. It will take several weeks before the true cost of this event is known. But we will have to recover the costs for this extraordinary event.”
The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) has a rate stabilization account that will most likely help address the increase in energy costs. “In theory this is exactly what the fund was designed to do,” GRDA said in an update to its customers.
Stillwater utility customers are reminded that the City only provides electric and water service, not service for gas.
Customers also are reminded that even if their utility bill is set for auto pay, they will receive their statement approximately 21 days before the bill is due. Customers are encouraged to review their bill before the due date and contact the City if they are concerned about the amount.
The City of Stillwater has extended the temporary moratorium on disconnects for unpaid bills. The City is always willing to discuss payment plans for service with customers.
McNickle said the City will notify utility customers when more information is available.