The City of Claremore is currently accepting bids for a third party to perform a cost of service and rate design study for Claremore Electric.
Claremore Electric Director Larry Hughes told the city council on Monday, Nov. 19, that the study is an in-depth look at what it takes to fund the different pieces of the electricity infrastructure.
“It will look at running new lines to housing additions, replacing lines in housing additions and running new infrastructure to industrial park customers and commercial customers,” Hughes said.
The professional recommendation is that such as study is completed every 5-7 years.
“We’ve done some digging and we have never come across anything showing the city of Claremore has ever done this type of study,” Hughes said.
The study is necessary, Hughes says, for the city to be able to justify their rate structure with the same accuracy as GRDA and other large-scale providers.
“It gives us an in-depth view of what all the costs are associated with serving each individual type of customer,” Hughes said.
The study will give the city an avenue by which to allow homeowners who choose to equip their home with solar energy to connect to Claremore Electric at a preferred rate.
The study would also open the door for the city to consider electricity rate incentives to new business growth, Hughes suggested. This is a GRDA initiative for all of the Oklahoma communities they service.
The study will compare Claremore to communities of similar size as well.
The study will also give the city better access to and understanding of Smart Meter data, to help residents take control of their usage by looking at time-of-day information on usage spikes.
“I think all of us in this room like controlling what we do and how we do it,” Hughes said. “When we present more options for people they tend to enjoy it a little bit better and have less disdain towards others.”
Once the bid is filled and a company is chosen, the study should be completed within five months. The estimated cost for the study will be approximately $50,000.
“I think it’s an opportunity to really have a look at where we stand as an electricity provider,” Hughes said, clarifying that rate changes based on the rate study would have no impact on the other aspects of Claremore residents utility bills.