OPPD Holds Meeting, Answers Questions On Rate Hike

By: Amaka Ubaka Email
By: Amaka Ubaka Email

The proposed rate increase for OPPD customers came before the board Thursday morning.

Overall, for homes and businesses it would be a 6.9% increase per month.

Customers showed up to the open meeting to hear all the details. Edward Easterlin, OPPD's Chief Executive Officer, told the crowd that the rate increase would generate $60 million.

The rate hike will raise residential customer bills an average $7.30 a month.

$45 million of that is due to the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant being off line for a year and a half. OPPD says that money will go towards integrating Fort Calhoun with 17 other plants.

That didn’t sit well with OPPD customer Ernie Boykin.

“At some point they have to look at what they're doing they have to look at their internal structure and see what can be done to decrease costs,” says Boykin. “That way so they don't always have to go towards the consumer.”

OPPD says they've already taken steps to keep costs low for customers, including selling energy and using internal funds. Without that general revenue, they admit the proposed hike would be closer to 20%.

Easterlin says it's a difficult balancing act being a public utility.

“You get the benefits but being the owner and the customer means that when things don't go so well there are costs associated with those.”

OPPD will request the Board of Directors Approval on December 13th.

For more information on the proposed rate hike, click on the link at the bottom of the story.

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