Understanding Rates

As an average utility ratepayer customer, it can be confusing and frustrating trying to understand how each of the charges indicated on your bill are determined.  Primarily you must keep in mind that the PUC balances the public interest and the utility reliability in order to ensure that not only to consumers have just and reasonable rates, but also receive safe and reliable services.  The OCC promotes affordable, reasonably priced, high quality, reliable service. 

Based on the process outlined in detail in the PUC Process FYI Publication "How Utility Rates Are Determined" the regulated utility is required to fully document and support any changes to a regulated rate or service and go through the process of a Phase I and Phase II rate case proceeding.  The purpose of Phase I of the rate case is for parties involved to work to help the Commission determine the percentage of increase or decrease in rates.  Parties typically involved are Commission Staff, utility company personnel, the OCC, and utility company customers and customer groups.  The purpose of Phase II of the rate case is for the Commission to decide how the change in rates will be distributed between different classes of customers which is also known as cost of service allocation and rate structure or rate design.