PSO Has Responded to Customers Worried About a High Electric Bill
PSO (Public Service Company of Oklahoma) has responded to customers who are worried about their upcoming electric bill. The big winter storm a few weeks ago AKA Snowpocalypse created tons of snow and ice not to mention record low temperatures. With that and the strain on the power usage we had controlled rolling black outs and the power companies we're asking that we conserve as much energy as possible to avoid total power failures. Utility companies across the state had to purchase additional emergency power at extremely high prices. Which is why people are so concerned about their next electric bill.
PSO has addressed this and it looks like this next bill will be based on your current rate and usage, so no dramatic price hikes. Your bill may be bigger depending on how much power you used, but no increases due to the power shortage and fuel costs. However at some time those increases will occur and PSO is working to find ways to assist customers to avoid financial hardships this may cause. They released a statement earlier today that covers this along with a Q&A on how and why this all happened and if it can be avoided in the future. See the statement / email they sent to customers below for all the details:
At PSO, we recognize the recent power supply shortages caused by extreme winter weather was challenging and there are lingering questions about what happened and what the long-term effects might be. This is part of our commitment to keeping you informed.
Why did PSO initiate emergency controlled outages?
Persistent, extreme cold weather across the region caused a sharp increase in electricity usage, straining available power and fuel supplies. At the direction of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the balancing authority for Oklahoma, we initiated a series of controlled outages to help prevent prolonged, widespread outages in the 14-state SPP region, which includes Oklahoma.
Is this going to happen again?
While we cannot predict the future, we can learn from this event. PSO had preparations in place for controlled outages and those plans were immediately followed. The controlled outages directed by the SPP had never been needed in its history. We will continue regularly updating and conducting drills on our plans to ensure they remain effective. The PSO team appreciates the tremendous response of our customers, which allowed us to respond quickly and avert longer, more widespread outages. Thank you!
Is my bill going to be higher?
Your bill may be higher based on the amount of electricity you used during the historic cold temperatures. Your customer rate has not changed. Eventually, the actual cost of fuel will be reflected in customer bills but this won’t occur immediately. We understand these fuel cost increases may create hardships for customers and our priority has been to find a way to minimize those challenges. The costs associated with energy supply constraints were extraordinary and we are committed to work with regulators, customers and others to find solutions.
What can I do to minimize the impact on my bill?
While we focus on exploring and finding customer solutions, the increased price of natural gas won’t be immediately reflected in your upcoming electric bills. In the meantime, we’re here to help with flexible payment options and extended payment plans. PSO will also accommodate customers requesting to be removed from our voluntary automated payment plan. Call 888-216-3523, send us a message on social media or go to psoklahoma.com/assistance to see your options. For energy saving tips and tools, go to psoklahoma.com/savings.
Thank you again for everything you did to conserve energy during the extreme winter weather event. Together we were able to avoid unplanned, extended outages.