Critics pan proposed OPPD rate hike

Posted at 1:13 PM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 14:13:48-05

There were more than 2,500 signatures collected opposing a proposed plan to restructure OPPD rates.

They came with chants, bold signs and a message.

“This proposal and OPPD’s new proposal…are bad for the environment and bad for low-income and fixed-income people in our community, “ said Kay Carne with the Verdis Group.

There were dozens of people protesting the proposed rate change through OPPD Tuesday morning.  Father Mike Eckley said he's been involved in the issue for quite some time.

“We see this as having a very damaging impact. People living in efficiency apartments that their rates are going to go up with this fixed rate," said Father Mike Eckley, with St. Piux X Catholic Church

The utility company wants to triple the service charge by 2019. It’ll go from $10.25 to $30 (down from the original proposal of $35), while lowering the usage rate for kilowatt hours.

“One, because this industry is changing,” said OPPD CEO Timothy Burke. “Whether it's from the regional transmission organization, whether that's for what's going on in the marketplace, what's going on with natural gas pricing. there are technological changes, currently inside homes with high-efficiency equipment."

OPPD has put a variety of programs in place to counter the changes and said the rate change ensures the right price signal.

However, critics say the changes are still wrong and would like a delay in the decision.

The OPPD Board will vote on the issue this Thursday, December 17 at 10 a.m.