Coal and natural gas are Oklahoma's primary fuels for electricity generation. Together, they typically provide about three-fourths of the state's electricity generation. However, in recent years wind power has been growing rapidly while coal-fueled electricity production has declined. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Oklahoma has 3,394 wind turbines located at 41 generating facilities (as of April 2017). With 6,645 Megawatts currently installed, Oklahoma ranks third in the nation for wind power capacity.
Oklahoma's 12 hydroelectric dams provide about 3% of total electricity production. Biomass also contributes a small share of electricity production in Oklahoma. Despite its long, sunny days, Oklahoma has been slow to adopt solar energy. Industry experts blame this slow growth on Oklahoma's restrictive solar policies. For example, Oklahoma doesn't allow "Purchase Power Agreements" for solar panels. In a nutshell, Purchase Power Agreements give customers the option to rent solar panels, instead of paying for them up front. Due to these restrictive policies, Oklahoma has the 5th least solar capacity installed in the nation.
Oklahoma Electricity Prices
Oklahoma has a regulated electricity market, whereby local utility companies set and control electricity prices, generation, and delivery in their service areas.
Fortunately, Oklahoma residents still benefit from lower electricity prices relative to the rest of the country. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average retail price of electricity for Oklahoma residents in December 2016 was 9.30¢ per kWh, which is 2.91¢ below the average U.S. electricity price of 12.21¢ per kWh.
Oklahoma Energy Mix
Net Electricity Generation By Source:
Source: Energy Information Administration, 2016
From 2010-2015, wind power went from about 5% to 18% of Oklahoma's total electricity production. Over the same period, electricity production from coal fell about 20%.
Oklahoma Energy Sector Employment
According to the Department of Energy, the Electric Power Generation segment employs 5,821 workers in Oklahoma. Wind Power employs about 1,798 Oklahomans, while solar energy employs 1,016. Natural gas and coal each employ about 1,250 people in Oklahoma. There are also about 12,300 energy efficiency workers in Oklahoma. Some of the biggest energy companies in Oklahoma are Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, and ONEOK, Inc.
Fun fact: more Americans are employed by renewable energy than coal, oil, and gas combined, despite wind and solar energy only making up 5% of the total U.S. energy mix. According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, solar energy creates over 7 times more jobs than coal or oil per MWh produced. The employment estimates for wind power differ from source to source, but most agree that it also produces more jobs than fossil fuels.
Oklahoma Utility Companies
Some of the largest electric utilities in Oklahoma are Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Electric Cooperative. Being in a regulated energy market, these utilities own the entire flow of electricity in their territories and also dictate electricity prices. As such, they are responsible for generating electricity, maintaining infrastructure, delivering electricity, and providing billing to all their residential and business customers across the state.
Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E)
- Serves more than 830,000 customers in Oklahoma and Western Arkansas
- Founded in 1902
- Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
- Serves approximately 547,000 customers in Oklahoma
- Incorporated in 2013
- Headquartered in Tulsa, OK
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (OEC)
- Serves more than 52,500 customers in Oklahoma
- Formed in 1937
- Headquartered in Norman, OK
Arcadia's Oklahoma Renewable Energy Services
With Arcadia’s clean energy offerings, homeowners and renters across the state can now sign up to reduce their impact, be more energy efficient, and save on their energy bills while keeping their same utility company. Here are three programs currently available to Oklahoma residents:
As an Oklahoma utility customer, you can reduce your impact by matching your home’s electricity usage with renewable energy certificates from wind farms. You can sign up for our 50% Wind Energy plan for free, and begin service with your next utility bill. All you need is your local utility login to link up with Arcadia’s platform and start supporting wind farms each month at no extra cost to you.
We offer a community solar-savings program to homeowners and renters in Oklahoma. No matter where you live, you can subscribe to community solar projects across the country and start saving on your utility bill each month. There aren’t any installations, site visits, or equipment necessary, and if you move, your savings will even move with you.
Zero-down Energy Efficient Products
Our pay-as-you-save energy program enables Oklahoma utility customers to access energy efficient products for $0 down. We will offer LED light bulbs, Wiser Air Smart Thermostats, and other home energy products to help you be more efficient and save on your utility bills. As an Arcadia customer, you can simply pay for your efficient products over time using the energy savings you’ll start seeing each month.