PSC wants tax savings for utilities passed on to consumers

PSC wants tax savings for utilities passed on to consumers

North Dakota's Public Service Commission has ordered four public utilities to calculate savings from reductions in federal corporate income tax rates.

According to the letter, adjusting rates and formulas would "ensure that customers promptly receive the full economic benefit of the tax reduction", and prevent utility providers from "reaping a windfall" from the reduction in corporate income tax rates.

Corporate tax rates went from 35 percent to 21 percent, effective January first. "UTC staff is still working through the changes brought about by the tax law, but utilities are on notice that we expect customers will reap the benefits".

The utilities expected tax savings will be determined and reconciled with commission-set revenue requirements with regular tariff and rate case filings.

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A slew of companies nationwide made announcements with either specific rate reductions or commitments to pass on the savings from lower tax rates to customers.

"Mississippi utility customers deserve to see their power and gas bills reduced when utilities' costs are reduced", said PSC Chairman Brandon Presley. This reduction will impact numerous UTC's regulated companies.

Two energy companies, Avista and Cascade Natural Gas, have rate cases pending before the commission, which will take into account tax-related changes.

The PSC will be asking Xcel Energy, MDU, Otter Tail Power and Great Plains Natural gas for information on how the tax cut will affect their finances.

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