Rutledge Demands OG&E Concessions to Protect Rate Payers
January 30, 2019
There are over 66,000 OG&E customers in Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a settlement with Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) to protect ratepayers from over $3.1 million in unjustified anticipated rate increases, with the company making several major monetary and non-monetary concessions.
“Protecting Arkansans’ wallets also means overseeing utility companies in the services they provide,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “There are over 66,000 OG&E customers in Arkansas and I take seriously the duty of reviewing and challenging any utility company’s proposals to raise rates that will harm Arkansans’ pocketbooks.”
On October 1, OG&E requested a $6.4 million increase in rates under its formula rate plan - a 6% increase in retail rates for all major rate classes. Rutledge challenged the requested increase in filings made December 28, as did the general staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and the Arkansas River Valley Energy Consumers group, an affiliation of several large business customers.
Rutledge has joined in a settlement with all parties which includes the following major provisions:
- The increase is reduced to $3.3 million – a reduction of more than $3.1 million, or 48%, from the requested increase – and the increase is now 3% for all major rate classes.
- The agreement specifically recognizes the Attorney General’s challenge to the inappropriate allocation of too many costs to Arkansas from OG&E’s Oklahoma operations, and her challenge to inappropriate advertising expenses, and inappropriate dues and donation expenses.
- As urged by the Attorney General, OG&E is required to report and document how its proposed investments in grid modernization will benefit all of its customers.
- As urged by the Attorney General, OG&E is required to report and document how its proposed investments in transmission assets will be reimbursed by other states through its regional transmission organization, the Southwest Power Pool.
A hearing on the settlement is set for February 7, but all parties have requested that the Commission waive the hearing. The Commission is required to rule by March 12, and the increase will be effective with April bills.