202-224-4515, Katie Niederee and Julia Lawless
Who Doesn’t Love Lower Bills?
Tax Reform Leading to Utility Providers, State Regulators to Reduce Rates for Customers
Not only will Americans see bigger paychecks as a result of tax reform, but many will see lower utility bills as a result of the new law as well. Utility providers and regulators across the country are seeking to pass tax savings along to consumers in the form of lower electric, gas and water bills.
With more companies and states announcing plans to cut rates by the day, take a look at efforts so far:
ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE CO. wants to cut $119 million from its rates, which would result in a reduction of approximately $4.70 per customer, or around $56 per year. If approved, the rate change would affect more than 1.1 million customers in the state.
AVANGRID announced its natural gas and electricity companies will pass along the full benefit of tax savings on to its customers and that it will work with regulators to determine how to best accomplish this.
Avangrid is the parent company of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas in Connecticut; Central Maine Power and Maine Natural Gas in Maine; Berkshire Gas in Massachusetts; and New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric in New York.
BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC will pass along $82 million worth of tax savings to customers, resulting in $82 million in lower gas and electric bills. If approved, the average customer will see a $4.27 reduction in their monthly combined gas and electric bills.
COMED, which services Northern Illinois, will pass along approximately $200 million in tax savings to its customers in 2018, resulting in an estimated $2-$3 drop in customers’ monthly bills if approved.
DOMINION ENERGY announced it will drop rates by 5 percent of South Carolina’s SCANA, which it plans to acquire, within 90 days after the deal closes. Dominion cites tax savings as the reason customers will see a $7 monthly reduction in their utility bills.
EVERSOURCE, which services eastern Massachusetts, will reduce rates by around $35.4 million to customers, scrapping plans to increase rates by $12.2 million.
PACIFIC POWER, which services parts of Oregon, Washington and California, announced it plans to pass along tax savings to customers. It has not yet announced specific proposals, noting they need additional time to calculate the full impact of tax reform.
PEPCO AND DELMARVA POWER, which service the Washington, DC, metro and Maryland, announced they would seek to lower the utility bills for more than 770,000 electric customers in Maryland and 296,000 electric customers in the District of Columbia.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER, which services customers in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho, announced a planned rate reduction. Rocky Mountain Power said it would release more details in the coming months.
TUCSON ELECTRIC POWER CO. announced it will pass along tax savings to its customers. The company is expected to file a detailed proposal to regulators by Jan. 20.
CONNECTICUT: State regulators started proceedings to determine how tax savings will be passed on to consumers. Original estimates suggest Connecticut customers could save between $75 and $100 million.
INDIANA: The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is reviewing the effects of tax reform and how consumers can benefit.
KANSAS: The Kansas Corporation Commission staff requested an investigation to determine the level of savings utility companies will get from tax reform.
KENTUCKY: The Kentucky Public Service Commission directed for-profit utilities to track their savings under lower corporate tax rates. This paves the way for tax savings to be passed along to consumers.
LOUISIANA: Gov. John Bel Edwards sent a letter to state utility regulators to ensure tax reform benefits are passed onto customers.
MICHIGAN: State regulators ordered 13 utilities to study the effect of tax reform and how tax savings will be passed along to customers. Utilities have until Jan. 19 to share with the state how they plan to do so.
MINNESOTA: Minnesota Power said the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission would determine how to build the new lower tax rate into lower utility rates for consumers.
MISSOURI: The Missouri Public Service Commission voted to require for-profit and gas providers and the Missouri American Water Company to answer questions on the financial impact of the tax bill, the first step towards potential rate cuts for consumers.
MONTANA: The Montana Public Service Commission gave utilities until the end of March to calculate tax savings and how they should be passed on to consumers.
NORTH DAKOTA: State regulators ordered an investigation about how tax reform will affect utilities.
OHIO: The Ohio Public Utilities Commission chairman Asim Haque announced it intends to study the effects of tax reform on utilities.
OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma utility regulators voted to transfer $150 million per year in tax savings to their customers.
OREGON: The Oregon Public Utility Commission said it has been receiving filings asking the commission to authorize deferrals requiring utilities to track changes resulting from tax reform, an important step in reducing utility rates.
PENNSYLVANIA: The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission began proceedings to review the impact of tax reform.
SOUTH DAKOTA: The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is requiring regulated utilities to submit reports on how tax reform will affect their cost of service by Feb. 1. The commission’s chairperson said it will then work with utilities to ensure customers benefit from tax savings.
VIRGINIA: State regulators in Virginia issued an order requiring electric, gas and water utilities to account for tax savings on their books.
WEST VIRGINIA: State regulators are currently evaluating tax reform’s effects on utilities and their customers.
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