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OPPD’s rates among lowest in region and country

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Omaha Public Power District’s electricity rates are among the lowest in the region and in the nation, as mentioned in OPPD’s annual monitoring report for Strategic Directive (SD) 2: Rates, which the OPPD Board of Directors accepted at this month’s meeting.

The directive sets a directional goal for OPPD’s rates to be 10% below the average rates of the North Central Region, comprised of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. This month’s report, based on 2022 data from the Energy Information Administration, shows that OPPD rates averaged across all classes were 16.2% below the regional average and 25.5% below the national average.

“OPPD has gained a considerable amount of competitiveness in recent years,” said Beth Hoyle, OPPD’s director of Financial Planning and Analysis.

Here’s the breakdown among specific rate classes:

  • Residential rates were 14.9% below the regional average and 22.3% below the national average.
  • Commercial rates were 18.4% below the regional average and 28% below the national average.
  • Industrial rates were 18.8% below the regional average and 20.9% below the national average.

Like many sectors, the utility industry and region have experienced pressure from inflationary costs, increased wholesale power supply costs, supply constraints and rising load growth. Despite these challenges, OPPD’s rates in 2022 were significantly lower when compared to both regional and national rates.

“Some reasons for increased rates in other states include capacity retirements, grid modernization, increasing costs and capacity restraints,” Hoyle said. “Other utilities are doing similar work as we are and facing similar challenges, but we feel that OPPD is doing it with less of an impact to our customers.”

SD-7: Environmental Stewardship

There was also discussion among board members and OPPD management this week with regards to updating SD-7: Environmental Stewardship. The directive includes a goal for OPPD to be a net zero carbon emitter by 2050. Potential revisions may include interim metrics toward this goal. The board will not meet in July, and OPPD hopes to share more on proposed changes when directors meet in August. At that time, a redlined version of proposed changes would be posted to OPPD’s website for public review and comment prior to a board vote at a future meeting.

Energy Plaza branch closure update

With more customers using other options to pay bills, OPPD previously announced its decision to close its Energy Plaza branch, 444 S. 16th St., Omaha, on Dec. 31. Tuesday, utility leaders provided an update on how OPPD will transition customers of this branch to alternative bill payment methods and locations. Most customers who visit Energy Plaza do so to pay in cash. Today, less than 1% of customers pay this way. Customers who prefer to pay in cash will still have options after the branch closes, including 37 MoneyGram locations throughout our service territory, including Walmart and CVS locations. OPPD is reaching out directly to Energy Plaza customers to ensure they are aware of these payment options, in addition to online, phone, and mail payments, as well as through auto pay and electronic fund transfers. 

Update on OPPD’s role in Omaha Streetcar project

This week, utility leaders also updated directors on OPPD’s role in the Omaha Streetcar project, including electrical infrastructure costs involved. Line relocations and other updates are estimated to cost approximately $31 million. The City of Omaha has agreed that about $19 million of this expense is reimbursable to OPPD, as it involves work directly related to the project. The utility’s portion would be approximately $12 million. It would cover work for upgrades to maintain the overall health and reliability of the electric system, with a timeline that may be moved to support the streetcar.

Other action

In other action, directors: 

  • Approved the April 2024 financial report, May 2024 meeting minutes and June 20, 2024, agenda.
  • Conducted and discussed annual CEO and corporate officer performance reviews. Directors also approved annual compensation adjustments.
  • Approved the dedication of real property near 104th & State St. to the City of Omaha. This will not adversely impact operations but will provide a secondary access point for OPPD’s adjacent property.
  • Authorized OPPD to reject all proposals received for the purchase of a substation class power transformer, as they were not legally responsive, and allow management to negotiate and enter a multi-year contract for the purchase of these transformers to support reliability and load growth.
  • Awarded a supplemental labor contract to The L.E. Myers Company for construction services associated with the installation and removal of overhead and underground distribution infrastructure. The agreement is for an initial term of four years, with the option to renew up to four additional one-year contract terms. Work associated with this contract will begin in July.
  • Received the monthly President’s Report, available to view at

Next board meetings

As noted above, there will be no OPPD board meetings in July. The next all-committees meeting will be Tuesday, August 13, 10 a.m. at Blue Cross Blue Shield, 1919 Aksarben Dr. in Omaha. The public may attend in person or virtually, via Webex. The meeting link and instructions will be available at, beginning about 9:45 a.m.

The next monthly board meeting is Thursday, August 15, 5 p.m., in person at the Legislative Chamber of the Omaha Civic Center, 1819 Farnam St. in Omaha, as well as virtually via Webex. Members of the public who wish to attend virtually will be able to access the meeting link and instructions at, beginning at 4:45 p.m.