(STILLWATER, OK) – Beginning in November, customers will see an increase of a few dollars on their electric bill that is repayment of the wholesale power purchased during the February winter crisis.
The City of Stillwater (COS) will pay the full balance of $7,138,352 owed to the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) throughout a 12 month time period. Only 50% of that amount will be recouped from customers throughout 36 months. There is no interest charged to the City or customers for these funds owed.
Customers will notice a new line item on their monthly bill, labeled “PCA Storm Recovery.” Due to the variability in energy usage and customer count throughout a 36 month term, staff will closely monitor and adjust the recovery rate to remain between $0.0020 and $0.0030 per kWh per customer per month. The “PCA Storm Recovery” line item will be removed from customer bills once the funds have been recovered.
The average residential increase will be $2.50 per month and the average commercial bill will be $5 per month. A sample of a residential account statement has been included.
The total amount owed to GRDA will be paid for with moneys from the electric department’s Rate Stabilization Fund (RSF) and the Stillwater Utilities Authority (SUA).
The half paid for by customers will replenish the RSF, which could temporarily impact capital improvement projects such as the Sixth Avenue transmission line relocation, installing LED streetlights, scheduled vehicle replacement, and etc. However, this fund has absorbed unexpected expenses in the past to prevent customers from experiencing overwhelming increases in their bills.
“The Rate Stabilization Fund was designed to help our residents when we are faced with catastrophic situations such as the winter storm in February. These funds will be recovered in time and we will continue to strategically prioritize capital improvement projects in the best interest of our residents,” said City Manager Norman McNickle.
The half paid for by the City will be money from the SUA. During fiscal year 2021, City departments operated frugally through the first wave of COVID which in turn helped provide available funds for this repayment.