Oklahoma’s Hot Weather Amps Up Electric Bills

Friday, July 22nd 2011, 6:45 pm
By: News On 6

Laura Moss, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- As the temperatures soar into the triple digits so does Oklahoman's electric bills.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma will not cut off your power if the heat index is 101 degrees or higher. But if it falls below that, they could flip the switch if your account isn't current.

PSO says the Average Monthly Payment (AMP) program is a good way to stay up on your electric bill and your budget. But this isn't the best idea for every PSO customer.

Candice Johnson is a mother of two and says she was late on one AMP payment and was slapped with the balance of $958.

"Yeah I was real shocked when I got the bill. I was like oh my god, what am I gonna do?" Johnson said.

Johnson did get some help from area agencies. $200 from DHS and a $100 from the Salvation Army's Light a Life program.

"If you have a need and you can't fill it on your own, that's what we're here for," said Kathy Kumm of the Salvation Army.

You can actually donate to Light a Life on your PSO electric bill. But with everyone sweating these summer AC bills, less people are donating.

"We need the extra funds so we can help them get over that hump and without those means we can't always pay what they need to be paid," Kumm said.

You can only cash in on this deal once a year. Kumm says when you get your bills paid by the Salvation Army, you also get educated on how to lower you bill.

PSO says the AMP program can be great for your budget. Knowing about how much your electric bill will cost each month is great for some of their customers.

"We've had over 3,000 customers sign up for AMP just since this summer," said PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford.

Whiteford says if you think you're going to have trouble paying your bill to just give them a call. He says the company is happy to work with you and your bill to make sure you can keep the lights--and the AC--up and running in this crazy Green Country weather.

"When we talk about normal weather in Oklahoma I don't know what that is. There is no such thing," Whiteford said.

Both DHS and the Salvation Army say they are in desperate need of donations to help with needs like electric bills.