The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 May 2006

It's another franchise election

If you're thinking "Didn't we just have one of these?" the answer is yes, we did, but that was for Oklahoma Natural Gas.

Now it's OG&E's turn. Tuesday Oklahoma City voters will pass judgment on a slightly-revised version of the 2001 franchise agreement, which will extend until 2031. There are a few interesting items on the table:

  • In 2001, there was some concern about deregulation of electricity and how far it would progress; the parties agreed to a five-year term at that time. Apparently deregulation isn't happening at the speeds anticipated, so it was deemed safe to go for a 25-year term — provided deregulation doesn't kick in, in which case the whole agreement is up for renegotiation.

  • Right now the city gets a credit from OG&E which is applied to the cost of powering city buildings. The new agreement permits that credit to be applied also to street lighting. The city says it expects to save about $1.2 million a year as a result.

  • OG&E will not be allowed to use any of its franchised rights-of-way for data services unless they're also being used for standard electrical service. (Meaning, I assume, they will be permitted to offer BPL services, but only to existing customers.)

Turnout for these things, of course, is woefully low.

Posted at 12:43 AM to City Scene