Residents across Oklahoma outraged over skyrocketing utility bills, especially in Altus
ALTUS, Okla. (KSWO) - Altus isn’t the only area seeing this kind of increase, other Oklahoma cities are also experiencing utility bills way higher than usual and it all goes back to one common thread.
42 cities are members of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, which primarily relies on natural gas. Natural gas prices are rising, and cities and consumers alike are seeing their bills grow too.
Frederick is one of the cities hit hard by the increase.
“Oklahoma, in general, has really been hit the hardest from what I understand, because we are so dependent on natural gas. Right now, when I look back at my June natural gas bill it was $9 a dekatherm now it’s $11.50 a dekatherm just in two months’ time it went up that much,” Kyle Davis City Manager of Frederick said.
Meanwhile, Altus City Manager Gary Jones said their bills have doubled.
“The city of Altus has never had a bill with our power provider Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority with the budget at over 2 million dollars, however, we went over 2 million. In fact, we went to 2.7 million,” Jones said.
Jones said they have not increased utility rates, but instead, power cost adjustment has changed.
“But the cost of what it costs for us to buy power, which is passed on to the customer through what’s called a power cost adjustment, has gone up tremendously,” Jones said.
The power cost adjustment is one of three charges paid from the city to the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority. The other two are a connect charge and a power rate charge.
“We make no additional money on that whenever that goes up. So we have not increased rates. In fact, over the last 3 years we have frozen our rates and actually reduced them 6%,” Jones said.
Jones said the city is working on a plan to help lower utility bills for their residents.
“Working with OMPA to do the things, we can look at this long term. The new solar farm that’s going to go in south of Snyder should help us in stabilizing rates in the future,” Jones said.
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