Tax Reform: Lower Power Bills

Families Across the Country Will Pay Less As Utilities Pass On Tax Reform Savings to Consumers

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “…[In] states, from Montana to Massachusetts to my home state of Kentucky, utilities are planning to directly pass along their savings by cutting consumers’ monthly bills.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 2/13/2018)

From Kentucky To Missouri To Vermont, Americans Will Be Saving On Their Utility Bills

KENTUCKY: “Customers of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company will begin to see the financial benefits associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act beginning in March. The two utilities announced today that they will file a unanimous settlement agreement with the Kentucky Public Service Commission requesting approval to return tax savings to customers this spring. If approved by the commission, customers would see nearly $180 million in savings in the form of a reduction on the Environmental Surcharge line item on their bill in March, followed by a new line item credit on the bill based on energy consumption starting in April. Kentucky, which opened the proceeding on the tax changes in late December, was one of the first regulatory commissions to take action and begin a process that would allow utilities to return the savings to customers as soon as possible.” (Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities Company, Press Release, 1/29/2018)

  • “The settlement is subject to KPSC approval, but if approved, KU customers will receive an estimated $91 million in savings. For a residential customer using an average of 1,179 Kwh per month, that is about a 5.3 percent bill reduction. LG&E customers will receive an estimated $86 million in savings. For a LG&E residential electric customer using an average of 957 Kwh per month, that equates to a roughly 5.6 percent bill reduction. For a LG&E residential gas customer using an average of 55 Ccf per month that equates to approximately a 3 percent bill reduction.” (Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities Company, Press Release, 1/29/2018)

MISSOURI: “Today KCP&L announced its intention to file rate update cases with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) to pass approximately $100 million in annual tax savings to customers, resulting from federal tax cost reductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. KCP&L is committed to passing 100 percent of the benefit from this tax cut on to customers.” (Kansas City Power & Light Company, Press Release, 1/18/2018)

FLORIDA: “Florida Power & Light Company today announced that customers will not pay a surcharge for Hurricane Irma restoration as previously expected. Instead, FPL plans to apply federal tax savings toward the $1.3 billion cost of Hurricane Irma restoration, which will save each of FPL's 4.9 million customers an average of approximately $250…. ‘The timing of federal tax reform, coming on the heels of the most expensive hurricane in Florida history, created an unusual and unprecedented opportunity. We believe the plan we've outlined is the fastest way to begin passing tax savings along to our customers and the most appropriate approach to keeping rates low and stable for years to come,’ said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.” (FPL, Press Release, 1/16/2018)

ARIZONA: “Tucson Electric Power Co. says it is looking at different ways to return potentially millions of dollars in benefits to customers from the recently enacted federal tax-reform law…. The Arizona Corporation Commission recently prompted all state-regulated utilities to come up with plans to return to customers the savings from a cut to the top corporate tax rate, to 21 percent from 35 percent. In a response filed with the commission, TEP and UNS said the companies are considering various short- and long-term credits to return the tax benefit to customers…. TEP and its sister utilities ‘believe it is in the public interest to share a substantial portion of the expected income tax savings with their respective customers on an expedited basis,’ the companies said…. Arizona Public Service Co., the largest state-regulated utility, already has filed a proposal to pass through the tax benefit by reducing the energy charges customers pay per kilowatt-hour of power…” (“Tucson Electric Power Mulling Ways To Rebate Income-Tax Savings To Customers,” Arizona Daily Star, 2/09/2018)

MICHIGAN: “The recent passage of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will offer benefits to energy customers across the country – including DTE’s utility customers here in Michigan. The reduction of the corporate tax rate will result in lower bills for DTE’s 2.2 million electric and 1.3 million gas customers. In 2018, a savings of nearly $190 million will be passed along to customers. As this tax reduction works through the regulatory process, our average electric and gas customers will see a reduction in their rates of about 3 percent.” (DTE Energy, Press Release, 1/23/2018)

TEXAS: “El Paso Electric (EPE) was one of the first utilities in the state of Texas to address and identify a mechanism to refund Texas customers due to the reduction in the federal income tax rate. On December 14, 2017, the unopposed settlement approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) included a provision to refund EPE’s Texas customers for the reduction in the federal income tax rate…. EPE expects Texas customers will begin to see the refund as a credit on their bills by mid-year 2018 following PUCT approval of its refund filing.” (“EPE To Refund Customers In Texas Due To New Tax Rate, El Paso Electric Website, 1/23/2018)

UTAH: “As a result of federal tax cuts, Dominion Energy is passing on $17 million in savings to its consumers. The Utah Division of Public Utilities announced that the energy company filed January 31, 2018, for the multi-millions in adjustments that enables customers to get a break on their gas bills. According to the Division of Public Utilities, Utah utility customers will begin seeing savings from federal tax reform over the next few months…. Additional reductions will follow Dominion Energy’s gas cost filing later this spring. The Division is working with other agencies to immediately reduce base rates to customers by $14.5 million more, the press release stated.” (“Dominion Energy Passes $17 Million In Federal Tax Cuts Onto Consumers,” KUTV Salt Lake City, 2/05/2018)

MASSACHUSETTS: “The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on Friday ordered electric, gas, and water companies to determine new rates, so consumer bills are adjusted to reflect the corporate tax cuts approved by Congress in December. ‘This is a huge victory for ratepayers who deserve the benefit of this major tax break for utilities,’ Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement Friday. ‘We look forward to seeing these rates adjusted promptly and are glad that the Department correctly recognized its obligation to ensure that customers receive these savings.’” (“Mass. Utilities Ordered To Set New Rates Based On Federal Tax Cuts,” The Boston Globe, 2/03/2018)

MARYLAND: “Baltimore Gas and Electric received approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission to use $103 million in annual tax savings for reducing residential utility bills, beginning Feb. 1. The tax savings BGE expects are the result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act…. The reductions will be reflected in customers’ February 2018 bills, BGE said. Washington Gas parent company WGL Holdings has made a similar request with state regulatory commissions in the District, Maryland and Virginia, seeking approval to pass on its tax savings to its 1.1 million customers in the region.” (“BGE Gets Approval For Rate Reductions,” WTOP, 2/01/2018)

WASHINGTON, DC: “In a flip-flop related to tax reform, Pepco now says it wants to cut rates instead of raise them. In December and January, the utility announced plans to raise rates in D.C. and Maryland, respectively. But the sweeping federal tax bill signed into law late last year meant a significant tax savings for the utility. As a result, Pepco is now asking the Maryland Public Service Commission to approve a rate cut. ‘What the filing…does is actually pass on $31 million in annual tax savings to our customers,’ Pepco’s Marcus Beal told WTOP…. Pepco expects to make a similar filing this week with regulators in D.C., with the intention of lowering rates there as well.” (“Tax Turnabout: After Plans To Hike Rates, Pepco Now Wants To Lower Them,” WTOP, 2/06/2018)

OKLAHOMA: “Most Oklahomans can expect to start seeing a lower utility bill in the mail later this year. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted Tuesday to transfer about $150 million a year in new corporate tax cuts to the customer…. Five of the state’s largest utility companies are seeing the largest tax breaks under the new federal law. They are OG&E, PSO, AOG, ONG and Centerpoint Energy.” (“OCC Orders Major Utilities To Transfer New Tax Savings To Ratepayers,” KWTV Oklahoma City, 1/09/2018)

ILLINOIS: “Ameren Illinois electric customers could save … if the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approves the company's plan to pass savings from the recently approved federal tax cut legislation back to its customers.  Customers using both electricity and natural gas could see a combined savings. In the proposal filed with the ICC today, the company is seeking approval to pass along federal tax savings to electric customers beginning this year.  A similar proposal was filed last week on behalf of Ameren Illinois natural gas customers.  ‘Under the new tax plan, Ameren Illinois’ effective tax rate will decrease by nearly 13%,’ said Richard Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. ‘The plan we have filed with the ICC gives us the ability to expedite the return of these savings to our customers.’” (Ameren Illinois, Press Release, 1/22/2018)

VERMONT: “In a filing today with the Vermont Public Utility Commission, Green Mountain Power is seeking to lower bills for customers by $6 million. The benefit comes from federal tax law changes that reduce GMP’s corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. This change will be retroactive and take effect January 1, 2018 at the start of GMP’s new rate year…. ‘After the federal tax plan passed, GMP pledged to return 100% of the tax benefit to customers, and today’s letter sets in motion our plan to reduce rates to provide those savings to our customers immediately,’ said President and CEO Mary Powell.” (Green Mountain Power, Press Release, 1/23/2018)

RHODE ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, and NEW YORK: “National Grid Rhode Island announced today that it is reducing its electric and gas base distribution rate proposal with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) by more than $25 million…. “Today’s announcement is a key indicator of how this new tax law can provide real benefits to National Grid’s customers,” said Tim Horan, president and COO of National Grid in Rhode Island.  “We are committed to ensuring that the tax savings of the legislation are fully realized and are used to help our customers in their energy bills.” … In addition to customers in Rhode Island, the new tax law will benefit the company’s customers in Massachusetts and New York.” (National Grid, Press Release, 1/2018)

KANSAS: “Today Westar Energy announced it will file a request before the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to reflect in its electricity rates the full amount of tax savings from the change in the federal tax law…. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, and became effective Jan. 1, 2018. ‘We agree with the KCC Staff and others that all these tax benefits should go to our customers,’ said Mark Ruelle, President and CEO of Westar. ‘This application to update rates starts that process.’… While the company estimated the tax benefit to be $65 million annually, or more, the KCC Staff and other parties will confirm the precise figures before the KCC.” (Westar Energy, Press Release, 1/18/2018)

IOWA: “A federal tax cut put in place by President Trump could mean money saved on electric bills for Iowans. On January 1, 2018, the Tax Cuts and Job Acts law, signed by President Trump, went into effect. In it, a corporate tax cut from 35% down to 21%, which will mean a savings up to $147 million in utility bills. It's money saved that utility companies plan to put back into the pockets of Iowans…. Alliant Energy estimated customer savings to be from $18.6 million to $19.6 million for electric, and between $500,000 to $3.7 million for gas. ‘Our customers really stand to gain from this.  Because we're going to be paying less in corporate taxes, we're going to be able to give more of that back to our customers,’ Alliant Energy Spokesperson, Justin Foss, said. MidAmerican Energy estimated between $90.8 million and $112.3 million in customer savings.” (“Iowa Utilities To Save Millions From Tax Reform,” KWWL-TV Waterloo, IA, 2/12/2018)



Related Issues: Middle Class, Taxes, Tax Reform