Settlement means no rate increase for Oklahoma utility

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has reached an agreement with the state's largest electrical utility that avoids a rate increase for its 800,000 customers in the state.

The three-member commission said Thursday the agreement settles a $77.6 million rate increase request filed by Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. in December with no rate increase.

The utility said it needed to raise rates to pay for environmental compliance investments, depreciation on aging equipment and other needs. The request was opposed by Attorney General Mike Hunter and various consumer groups who said higher rates were not justified.

Commissioners say the agreement allows the utility to recover about $600 million in capital improvement costs while keeping rates low.

OG&E spokesman Brian Alford says the utility is glad to have the "decades-long process" behind it.

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