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What is a Franchise?

A franchise agreement with PSO is the ordinance agreement between PSO and the City. The franchise agreement provides revenues to the city or town and grants PSO permission to access the public right of ways, alleys, and streets in order to operate the electric grid.

How does a PSO Franchise Agreement benefit the citizens of that town?

Here's a few of the key benefits:

Allows PSO to respond efficiently to the needs of citizens and prevents delays in power restoration.

Strengthens coordination between PSO and the city or town in weather emergencies to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.

Funds essential services like police, fire and parks with franchise fee and sales tax revenue.

Ensures seamless economic development cooperation in attracting, retaining and expanding businesses in that area.

Facilitates building of new homes, new businesses and growth and improvements in the electric grid.

Improves lives through charitable support for education, food security, equity, and enhanced quality of life.

Provides municipal street lighting for 1/3 of the cost compared to nonfranchise cities. Report a street light problem or request a street light.

Additional Questions about Franchise Votes

Article 18, Section 5A of the Oklahoma Constitution states that utility providers must have a franchise with the cities and towns it serves, via a vote of the citizens of those cities and towns. The 1999 Oklahoma Supreme Court Case of Oklahoma Electric Cooperative Inc. v. Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company says that if an electric utility is going to serve a city, it must have a franchise agreement to do so. This franchise agreement must be voted on and approved by the citizens of that city, to document the agreement between the utility company and the city. There are no "exclusive" franchises allowed within the State.

In its simplest terms, the franchise agreement allows "the City to grant to the Company the right, privilege, and authority to produce, transmit, distribute and sell electricity within the corporate limits of the City for all purposes for which it may be used, to the City, its inhabitants and the public generally, and the right, privilege, and authority to construct, maintain and operate a system of poles, wires, conduits, transformers, substations, and other facilities and equipment in, upon, across, under and over the streets, alleys, public grounds or ways in each and every part of said City, for the purpose of producing, transmitting, distributing and selling electricity to the City, its inhabitants, and to the public generally." Having the franchise agreement, which covers both the Company and its contractors, prevents PSO from having to seek a permit for each and every infrastructure project or storm restoration effort within the city's limits.

Exercising your right to vote is the simplest and best way to ensure your PSO franchise vote is a successful one.

If you have any questions about any franchise election, please email us at psocorpcomm@aep.com

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