Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) has filed an application with the Arkansas Public Service Commission for a rate increase of $17.7m that will enable the company to recover the cost of electric system expansions and upgrades.

New rates, if approved, will go into effect in the third quarter of 2011, and the company estimates the new rates will cause the average OG&E Arkansas residential electric bill to increase by about $6.61 per month.

OG&E vice president of regulatory affairs Howard Motley said that the requested increase will help the company recover investments in electric infrastructure including high-voltage transmission lines and wind energy, as well as rising operating costs.

OG&E, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy, serves more than 780,000 electric customers in a service area spanning 30,000 square miles, including about 65,000 customers in western Arkansas.