Corporation Commission to consider OG&E rate request

Tuesday, May 13th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Corporation Commission will consider a request by Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. to raise its rates for residential customers but lower rates for public school customers.

The increase will allow OG&E to cover the costs of the new 400-megawatt power plant, meet rising business expenses and improve its electrical system, the company said.

It also could offer savings to more than 80,000 small business customers, officials said.

"What we sought to do was provide an innovative rate plan that first and foremost provides benefits to the schools," said Brian Alford, an OG&E spokesman.

"The plan will also provide a potential cost savings to small businesses and allow us to invest in the system, acquiring this new generator while causing the least amount of impact on the customers."

School and businesses traditionally have paid a higher rate for their electricity than residential customers, Alford said. The increase to residential customer bills is expected to be minimal, he said.

OG&E reached a settlement with the commission in November to reduce its rates by $25 million. The utility sought a $26 million rate increase, but regulators wanted a $43 million annual rate reduction and the state attorney general proposed a $92 million cut.

OG&E has not had a rate increase since 1985.