AARP opposes a $73 million rate increase for Oklahoma Gas & Electric and is encouraging consumers to get involved.
The proposed rate hike would translate into a $6.50 average increase in residential customers’ monthly bills and affect more than 600,000 residential electric customers.
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The Corporation Commission is expected to make a decision in the rate case in either December or January.
The AARP Oklahoma Utility Watchdog Team will be fighting the proposed rate increase by attending hearings and contacting members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
In August, AARP held a day-long training session for the Utility Watchdog Team. Nearly 50 volunteers from across the state representing nine local AARP chapters attended the event along with five members of the Oklahoma Executive Council.
State President Marjorie Lyons opened the training by presenting findings from an Oklahoma utility survey commissioned by AARP last spring. Lyons said AARP’s work on utility issues illustrates how the association is fighting on issues that matter to its members.
Dana Murphy, Chair of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, spoke to volunteers and encouraged them to make their voices heard on utility issues in Oklahoma.
Senior Legislative Representative Janee Briesemeister presented two sessions on AARP’s Affordable Utilities Now Campaign, including: basic home energy information, an overview of state public utility commissions, understanding consumer rights and AARP Oklahoma’s state advocacy efforts on utility issues.
The afternoon session included a panel discussion moderated by State Director Sean Voskuhl that included Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the AG Public Utilities Unit Bill Humes; Deputy Director of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission Public Utility Division Brandy Wreath and Regulatory Attorney Deborah Thompson. Among topics discussed by the panel was the role of the consumer at the Corporation Commission, the use of Smart Meters and an upcoming proposed electric rate increase by Oklahoma Gas & Electric.
In addition, volunteers wrote their personal stories of how increased electric utility rates have impacted the way they have had to make decisions about their personal expenses. These stories will be shared with lawmakers as volunteers mobilize on utility issues in the upcoming months.
If you are interested in being part of the AARP Oklahoma Utility Watchdog Team, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.