“Some customers struggled with the economic effects of COVID-19 and have had to delay payments due to illness or job loss,” said Brian Alford, OG&E spokesman. “While the disconnect process is resuming, we’re committed to working with those affected during these tight times. We’ve taken steps to broaden our payment options to be more flexible and to give customers billing options and an extended timeframe to repay their past due balance.”
Alford added that customers at risk of interrupted service due to non-payment will in the coming weeks receive several notices from the company before being disconnected.
Payment options include:
Installment Plan: The installment plan option allows customers to repay their past due balance over six months with no late fees applied.
Average Monthly Billing: The company is offering customers who enroll in its Average Monthly Billing (AMB) program the option to spread a past due balance, along with late fees, over a 12-month period and include it with their AMB amount. The AMB bill amount is based on a customer’s average usage over a rolling 12-month period and therefore varies only slightly each month.
“Our average billing program takes away the high summer bill peaks and the valleys associated with the lower cost months of the year, making electric bills relatively flat year-round,” Alford said.
Additional Steps and Options
The company also announced in June that it lowered its monthly fuel cost recovery, reducing customers’ fuel costs 16% through the remainder of 2020.
Customers needing help with their electric bills may apply to The Salvation Army for one-time assistance provided by OG&E’s Lend-a-Hand program, which offers one-time financial assistance made possible by customers who donate money for the program through their electric bills.
The company also offers rate options and programs to help customers manage bills and save energy and money throughout the year. These programs include:
Guaranteed Flat Bill (GFB): Customers who are current with their bill but still concerned about budgeting have the option of choosing OG&E’s Guaranteed Flat Bill (GFB) program. With GFB, customers pay the exact same amount monthly for their electric bill for a full year. The bill is the same regardless of usage, and customers aren’t liable for any overages during the GFB term.
SmartHours: From June 1 to Sept. 30, customers can take advantage of nearly half-price electricity for 19 hours of the day Monday through Friday and all weekend long. During peak weekday hours, customers have a variable rate from 5 cents per kilowatt hour to 41 cents per kilowatt hour. On average, customers have saved more than $150 during the summer with this program.
In addition, the company offers participating SmartHours customers who are 65 and older a $5 monthly credit June through September.
Weatherization: Customers who have an income of less than $60,000 per year may be eligible for OG&E’s Weatherization program. The program provides up to $3,000 in energy efficiency upgrades, such as air-leak sealing, insulation and duct sealing at no cost to the customer.
Home Energy Efficiency Program (HEEP): The HEEP program provides personalized, step-by-step solutions for lowering energy costs at no cost to the customers. It begins with a 10-question quiz. Customers then receive an in-home energy assessment that includes up to 15 LED bulbs, an advanced power strip, a custom Home Energy Report with recommended improvements and access to rebates. Qualifying customers may also receive an air conditioner tune-up at no cost.
The company also offers energy efficiency programs and rebates to its business customers as well.
Customers can enroll in any of these programs online at oge.com or by contacting OG&E’s Customer Service at 405-272-9741 (inside the OKC metro area) or 800-272-9741 (outside the OKC metro area).
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), is Oklahoma’s largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes at rates below the national average. Our employees are committed to generating and delivering electricity, protecting the environment and providing excellent service to our 858,000 customers. OG&E has 7,081 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by low-sulfur coal, natural gas, wind and solar. OG&E employees live, work and volunteer in the communities we serve. For more information about OG&E, visit our website at http://www.oge.com or follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ogepower, Instagram: @ogepower and Twitter: @OGandE.