OPPD’s board of directors approved a new, $2.1 billion budget on Thursday with a modest general rate increase to help maintain robust, reliable electrical service amid rising costs and growing customer demand.
The exact increase for 2024 will vary based on the type of customer and their usage, but the average among different customer classes would be 2.5%. Most residential customers would see a 1.6% increase.
The new budget will allow OPPD to continue upgrading its infrastructure to improve reliability while adding new programs that give customers more control over their energy use.
OPPD’s retail rates were 26.5% below the national average in 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration. The increase will maintain OPPD’s competitive edge while preserving the health of the utility’s operations.
“We’re investing in work that supports the reliability, resiliency and overall health of our system during a transformational period for OPPD and the industry as a whole,” said OPPD Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bishop. “The rate action was necessitated by the rising cost of net power to serve our load, new and existing growth, and inflationary and supply chain pressures.”
The new rates go into effect on Jan. 1 as part of OPPD’s Corporate Operating Plan.
OPPD sets rates for different customer classes based on a cost-of-service study, a standard practice among utilities. Costs are allocated based on how much each customer group contributes to OPPD’s expenses, and thus, customers with the highest usage will see the biggest increases. More details are available in OPPD’s Rate Fundamental Report.
OPPD is seeing unprecedented growth in demand for electricity and expects to add approximately 100 megawatts per year over the next decade. The utility is also forging ahead with its Powering the Future to 2050 plan, which will modernize the local grid.
Customers can manage the impact of the increase on their bills by conserving energy. OPPD has provided some tools and energy-efficiency tips on its Energy Efficiency page. The utility also has assistance programs for customers struggling to pay their utility bills.
Tim McAreavey, OPPD’s vice president of Customer Service, said the utility has representatives available who can work with customers who might be struggling to pay their bills.
“We urge these customers to reach out to us before they fall behind on their bills,” McAreavey said. “Our customer care representatives want to work with you on solutions.”
Customers can also contact a customer care representative by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 402-536-4131 in the Omaha metro area, or toll-free outside the metro at 1-877-536-4131.
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