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News Releases : Modernized infrastructure, expanded customer offerings prioritized in OPPD’s 2024 budget, which includes modest rate increase
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At their monthly meeting tonight, the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors approved the utility’s $2.1 billion corporate operating plan for 2024. The plan includes a modest general rate increase to help maintain robust and reliable electrical service amid rising costs and growing customer demand.

“We work hard to manage costs to keep rates low for customers,” said OPPD Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bishop. “This rate action is necessary to reliably serve our customers, given the rising costs of net power, as well as inflationary and supply chain pressures.”

Budget priorities include progressing programs to give customers more control over their energy use, as well as continued infrastructure modernization for electric system reliability and resiliency.

Beginning January 1, the average retail rate increase across all customer classes is 2.5%. Residential customers will see a 1.6% increase. The impact from customer to customer will vary, with high energy users experiencing an increase greater than 1.6% and low energy users experiencing less of an increase. OPPD has strategies and tools available to help customers save energy, including energy efficiency tips, a usage calculator, how-to videos, and more at OPPD.com/ee. We also have several rebates and incentives for reducing energy usage. Visit OPPD.com/save to learn more.

According to the latest available figures from the Energy Information Administration, OPPD’s retail rates were 26.5% below the national average in 2022. OPPD’s average general rate increase for 2024 is generally lower than comparable utilities. The average increase among 11 peer utilities, located in the Midwest and elsewhere, is 4.8% -- nearly double OPPD’s.

OPPD realizes that even a small increase can be challenging for those already struggling to pay their utility bills. We offer a range of assistance programs for those who qualify. For more information and guidance, visit OPPD.com/residential/payment/assistance-programs or call 402-536-4131.

Other action

In other action, directors: 

  • Approved the October 2023 Financial Report, the November 2023 meeting minutes, and the December 21, 2023 agenda.
  • Approved a declaration to reimburse anticipated 2024 capital expenditures with tax-exempt bond proceeds.
  • Approved the acquisition of land rights for the Cass-to-Sarpy Transmission Project for the planned construction of a transmission line between OPPD’s Cass County Station and the new Turtle Creek Station in Sarpy County. The project team also determined the best overall route for the line, balancing engineering, environmental, and social criteria of the routes, including public feedback received through the course of several open houses and other outreach efforts. The route is posted at OPPDCommunityConnect.com/Cass-to-Sarpy-Transmission-Project, along with additional project information.
  • To learn more about this project and next steps, visit OPPDCommunityConnect.com/Cass-to-Sarpy-Transmission-Project.
  • Approved OPPD’s recommendation with regards to proposed Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) standards on demand response and electric vehicle charging programs, to continue to evaluate opportunities in these areas. To learn more, visit OPPDCommunityConnect.com/PURPA.
  • Accepted the monitoring report for Strategic Directive (SD) 8: Employee Relations. Acceptance means the board finds the utility to be sufficiently in compliance with the directive.
  • Discussed and approved revisions to SD-4: Reliability.
  • Awarded a labor contract to High Voltage Inc. in the amount of $1,312,715 for construction services to build and modify several portions of the utility’s transmission system in the spring of 2024. Work includes structure replacements and line modifications for reliability, as well as relocations in Omaha to allow for developments.
  • Awarded HD Hyundai Electric America Corporation with a multi-year 345kV to 15kV generation step-up transformer (GSU) contract to support reliability and resiliency of the Cass County Station. The contract will initially procure one GSU to serve as a spare for generating Units 1 and 2, supporting OPPD’s proactive efforts to ensure reliability and resiliency, as well as flexibility for future projects. There is an option to renew up to four additional one-year terms to allow proactive procurement or replacements, subject to negotiated pricing and lead times with the vendor.
  • Approved the Engineer’s Certification and authorized OPPD management to negotiate and enter into a contract or contracts for the redesign and installation of replacement exhaust stack silencer panels at Cass County Station Units 1 and 2.
  • Approved the Engineer’s Certification and authorized OPPD management to negotiate and enter into a contract with UCC Environmental for the supply of equipment and services for the modification of the North Omaha Station bottom ash conveying system to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Effluent Limit Guidelines and Standards requirements.
  • Authorized OPPD management to reject technically noncompliant bids received for the repair of Nebraska City Station’s Unit 2 spare boiler feedwater pump motor and, instead, allow OPPD management to enter into and award a negotiated contract.
  • Received the monthly President’s Report, available at OPPD.com/BoardMeeting

Next board meetings

The next all-committees meeting will be held in-person Tuesday, January 16, at 10 a.m. at Blue Cross Blue Shield, 1919 Aksarben Dr., as well as virtually, via Webex. The link will be available at OPPD.com/CommitteeAgenda, beginning about 9:45 a.m.

The next monthly board meeting is Thursday, January 18, at 5 p.m., both in-person at the Legislative Chamber of the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center, 1819 Farnam St. and virtually. To attend via WebEx, access the meeting link and instructions at OPPD.com/BoardAgenda, beginning at 4:45 p.m.