Council receives electricity rate briefing

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Pawhuska city councilors received a briefing Dec. 6 from the chief financial officer of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority about the city’s current rates for electricity service, as well as possible rate increases. The city of Pawhuska is a member of the OMPA.

The City Council’s agenda for the meeting did not include an action item, and no representative of city government either proposed specific electricity rate increases, or suggested any timeline for trying to enact any increases.

John Vansant, CFO of the OMPA, told Pawhuska councilors that he had done a cost-of-service study that examined the equitable allocation of power generation costs among all classes of customers. He said the city of Pawhuska had asked for an examination of its electricity rates.

Vansant said Pawhuska government, based on financial data for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022, needed for its electricity billing to bring in about $4,609,000. He said the current rate structure brought in some $279,000 less. He said the rate of under-collection was about 6 percent, and residential accounts were slightly more under-collected than commercial accounts.

Vansant said that rate-increase recommendations he gave the City Council would probably bring in about $200,000 more, thus decreasing the level of under-collection. He indicated that, under his proposal, residential accounts would remain slightly under-collected.

Vansant added that Pawhuska’s current electric rates are not particularly bad.

“I think they’re about average for OMPA,” he said.

Pawhuska city government’s consideration of its electricity rate structure comes at a time when it recently raised trash collection rates marginally.