John Kartch and Michael Mirsky

California Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Tuesday, June 15th, 2021, 12:18 PM PERMALINK

If Feinstein and Padilla enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla hike the corporate income tax rate, California households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least twelve California utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the California Public Utilities Commission, California Water Service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Golden State Water Company, Suburban Water Systems, San Jose Water Company, California American Water Company, California-Oregon Telephone Company, Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Calaveras Telephone Company and Sierra Telephone Company passed along tax savings to their customers. 

Southern California Gas Company: As noted in this January 2020 Energy Division document:

SoCalGas tax savings from the TCJA to be refunded to ratepayers is $75 million.

California Water Service: As noted in this May 30, 2018 California Water Service press release:

California Water Service (Cal Water) submitted a filing with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday to decrease revenue needed in its service areas by almost $18 million, due to changes in federal tax laws and CPUC-authorized capital equity and debt financing costs. If approved as submitted, new rates reflecting the lower tax rates and financing costs will be effective July 1, 2018.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company: As noted in this March 30, 2018, PG&E press release:

PG&E is taking action to pass along approximately $450 million in annual tax savings to its customers. As a first step, today PG&E made three separate filings requesting to pass along approximately $325 million per year in federal tax savings from the  federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for 2018 and 2019. PG&E has proposed to the CPUC that the benefits of the federal tax savings be used to offset expected rate increases.

Golden State Water Company: As noted in this June 13, 2018 CBS Sacramento news excerpt:

Golden State Water Company, which services Rancho Cordova, Gold River, and Arden Manor, wants to lower water rates for customers.

The water agency filed paperwork with the California Public Utilities Commission to decrease the rate by 2.88% for metered customers and 2.86% for flat-rate customers. The change, if approved, would take effect July 1, 2018.

Golden State Water made the decision to cut rates after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered its income tax rate from 35% to 21% on January 1, 2018. Golden State Water may retroactively credit customers if it determines there was a revenue surplus from January 1, 2018-June 30, 2018. It is also adjusting its rate proposal for 2019-2021, which it submitted in July 2017- before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law.

Suburban Water Systems: As noted in this September 24, 2020 California Public Service Commission document:

This Resolution grants Suburban Water Systems’ (Suburban) request in Advice Letter No. 348 the authority to amortize the 2019 amount of $289,879 or 0.34% of authorized revenues, recorded in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Memorandum Account (TCJAMA) related to the 2019 excess accumulated deferred federal income tax (ADFIT) not reflected in rates for the period January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. The 2019 balance of the TCJAMA will be amortized as a single monthly bill credit based on the customer’s meter size. The credit amount includes interest and is to refund the excess ADFIT related to 2019 revenue requirement not currently reflected in rates. 

San Jose Water Company: As noted in this January 16, 2020 California Public Service Commission document:

This Resolution grants San Jose Water Company’ (SJWC) request in Advice Letter No. 537 & 537A, the authority to refund the over collected amount of $6,624,690 for the period January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, or 1.75% of authorized revenues,recorded in the 2018 Tax Accounting Memorandum Account (TAMA). The balance is associated with changes in tax expenses resulting fromTax Cut and Jobs Act signed into law December 22, 2017 that among other matters reduced the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. The TAMA should be closed and the balance transferred to a 2018 Tax Accounting Balancing Account to amortize the refund. The 2018 balance in the TAMA will be refunded as a one-time bill credit based on the customer’s meter size. The bill credit is effective beginning on January 21, 2020 as shown below. Any over or under refunded balance in the 2018 Tax Accounting Balancing Account once the amortization period concludes should be addressed in the context of SJWC’s 2022 Test Year general rate case.

California American Water Company: As noted in this December 13, 2018 American Water press release:

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved a decision in the company’s general rate case for new water and wastewater rates for customers statewide.

The company’s rate request, which was filed in July 2016, will set rates through 2020. The decision approves approximately $103 million in capital investment in infrastructure replacements and improvements in 2018 and 2019.

“We are extremely proud of our significant level of system investment, combined with operational efficiency measures and innovative technologies, to ensure continued water quality, service reliability and fire protection for the more than 600,000 Californians who depend on us every day,” said Rich Svindland, President of California American Water. “This decision enables us to continue this important work on behalf of our customers, while balancing the cost impact for them.”

The decision approves a $10.3-million annual increase in authorized water and wastewater revenues for California American Water compared to previously authorized rates in the fall of 2016. The increase reflects savings generated by changes in federal tax law from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the 2018 Cost of Capital decision.

California-Oregon Telephone Company: As noted in this August 9, 2018 California Public Service Commission document:

Staff has recalculated the tax impact of the TCJA to include the excess deferred tax impact. Prior to the enactment of the TCJA, Cal-Ore’s deferred income tax liability balance was $1,182,356.  On January 1, 2018, the new tax rate of 21% resulted in deferred income tax of $730,279 causing an excess deferred tax reserve of $452,077.  This $452,077 should be returned to ratepayers ratably over the remaining life of the assets that gave rise to the excess tax reserve balance.  The TCJA provides guidance for the return of the excess deferred tax reserve under normalization rules.   In summary, the TCJA rules say that if the excess deferred taxes are to be reduced, they should be reduced no faster than using the average rate assumption method (ARAM).  But if the utility does not have the appropriate vintage data to use ARAM, an alternative method based on a composite rate is allowed.   

As a result, Staff recommends the $452,077 excess deferred income tax reserve should be returned to ratepayers over the weighted average of the remaining useful life of Cal-Ore’s depreciable assets as of December 31, 2017.  Appropriately, as the excess deferred tax reserve is returned to Cal-Ore’s ratepayers, rate base will be incrementally increased by $33,737 per year (as the $452,077 excess remaining in the deferred tax account will be incrementally decreased as it is returned to ratepayers).

Southern California Edison: As noted in this August 16, 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune article:

Representatives from Southern California Edison told the Union-Tribune the utility is reducing the total revenue it is requesting before the CPUC in its general rate case by about $139 million this year, about $185 million in 2019 and $235 million in 2020, largely due to the tax cut.

Without the legislation, Edison expected residential customers would see an average monthly increase of $1.51 a month this year, $5.01 in 2019 and $6.83 in 2020.

With the tax cut, the figures would drop to a 6-cents decrease per month in 2018, a $3.98 increase in 2019 and a $5.56 increase in 2020, based on average monthly usage of 550 kilowatt-hours.

San Diego Gas & Electric: As noted in this January 2020 Energy Division document:

Sempra GRC Gas Highlights:

  • Disallowed SDG&E’s request to use 2018 tax savings from Tax Cuts & Job Act (TCJA) to offset expense for helicopter for fires and liability insurance, and to refund the $12 million tax savings to ratepayers over 2 years


Calaveras Telephone Company: As noted in this August 23, 2018 California Public Service document

Staff recalculated the tax impact of the TCJA to include the excess deferred tax impact. Prior to the enactment of the TCJA, Calaveras’ deferred income tax liability balance was $145,643. On January 1, 2018, the new tax rate of 21% resulted in deferred income tax of $89,956 causing an excess deferred tax reserve of $55,687. This $55,687 should be returned to ratepayers ratably over the remaining life of the assets that gave rise to the excess tax reserve balance, The TCJA provides guidance for the return of the excess deferred tax reserve under normalization rules. In summary, the TCJA rules say that if the excess deferred taxes are to be reduced, they should be reduced no faster than using the average rate assumption method (ARAM).   

Accordingly, Staff has adjusted the $55,687 excess deferred income tax reserve and returned it to ratepayers over the weighted average of the remaining useful life of Calaveras’ depreciable assets as of December 31, 2017.  Appropriately, as the excess deferred tax reserve is returned to Calaveras’ ratepayers, rate base will be incrementally increased by $10,507 per year (as the $55,687 excess remaining in the deferred tax account will be incrementally decreased as it is returned to ratepayers).

Sierra Telephone Company: As noted in this August 9, 2018 California Public Service Commission document

Staff has recalculated the tax impact of the TCJA to include the excess deferred tax impact. Prior to the enactment of the TCJA, Sierra’s deferred income tax liability balance was $5,131,347.  On January 1, 2018, the new tax rate of 21% resulted in deferred income tax of $3,169,361 causing an excess deferred tax reserve of $1,961,986.  This $1,961,986 should be returned to ratepayers ratably over the remaining life of the assets that gave rise to the excess tax reserve balance.  The TCJA provides guidance for the return of the excess deferred tax reserve under normalization rules. In summary, the TCJA rules say that if the excess deferred taxes are to be reduced, they should be reduced no faster than using the average rate assumption method (ARAM). But if the utility does not have the appropriate vintage data to use ARAM, an alternative method based on a composite rate is allowed.    

As a result, Staff recommends the $1,961,986 excess deferred income tax reserve should be returned to ratepayers over the weighted average of the remaining useful life of Sierra’s depreciable assets as of December 31, 2017. Appropriately, as the excess deferred tax reserve is returned to Sierra’s ratepayers, rate base will be incrementally increased by $316,449 per year (as the $316,449 excess remaining in the deferred tax account will be incrementally decreased as it is returned to ratepayers).

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


Florida Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Monday, June 14th, 2021, 2:22 PM PERMALINK

If Biden and the Democrats enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and congressional Democrats hike the corporate income tax rate, Florida households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least seven Florida utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Florida Public Service Commission, Duke Energy Florida, Gulf Power Company, Tampa Electric, Florida Public Utilities Company, Peoples Gas System, Florida Power and Light and Florida City Gas passed along tax savings to their customers. 

Florida Power and Light: As noted in this January 17, 2018 WPTV News excerpt

Florida Power and Light customers will not have to pay for Hurricane Irma.

The power company said Tuesday that savings from recent tax reform signed by President Trump will offset any planned costs.

FPL said it will apply its savings to the $1.3 billion in costs from Irma that it had intended to recoup from customers.

Thousands of customers lost power for days and weeks during September because of the hurricane.

The utility had previously announced that it would have to implement a surcharge in March to pay for Irma after a year-long surcharge for 2016's Hurricane Matthew ends in February.

Each of FPL's  customers will save an average of $250.

Duke Energy Florida: As noted in this June 11, 2019 Florida Public Service Commission news release

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved Duke Energy Florida, LLC’s (DEF) agreement to apply federal tax savings to offset storm restoration costs for Hurricane Michael, thereby avoiding a surcharge to DEF customers.

DEF had originally requested approval to recover $223.5 million, equating to $6.95 on a monthly 1,000 kWh residential bill for 12 months, beginning in July 2019. This agreement avoids these charges and continues DEF’s use of 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act savings to cover hurricane recovery costs for its customers.

Gulf Power Company: As noted in this October 30, 2018 Florida Public Service Commission news release:

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today ordered Gulf Power Company (Gulf) to pass additional savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to its customers. The Commission approved an additional $9.6 million in customer bill reductions.

As a result, Gulf’s base rates will be reduced by $9.6 million, allowing residential customers to see a monthly bill reduction of $1.11 per 1,000 kWh in January 2019. In addition, Gulf proposes to reduce its 2019 fuel cost recovery amount by $9.9 million. This proposal will be considered at the PSC’s annual cost recovery clause hearing in November.

Tampa Electric: As noted in this March 1, 2018, Tampa Electric press release:

Tampa Electric bills won’t rise to pay for Hurricane Irma restoration costs, thanks to new tax savings. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved the measure today.

Because of recent changes made to the federal tax law, customers will directly benefit. What Tampa Electric would have paid in corporate income taxes will instead be used to cover the cost of restoring power after Hurricane Irma and several other earlier named storms. Additionally, Tampa Electric bills will reflect the ongoing benefits from tax reform starting in 2019. 

Florida Public Utilities Company: As noted in this January 24, 2019 Chesapeake Utilities Corporation press release:

The Florida Public Service Commission has approved the settlement agreement between Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU), a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK), and the Office of Public Counsel (OPC). The settlement agreement, which was filed on October 17, 2018, reduces electric rates as a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“This decision provides an immediate benefit to FPU electric customers, and we are appreciative of the Public Service Commission’s decision to approve our agreement which passes financial savings to customers,” said Jeffry M. Householder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “The federal tax credit combined with declining electricity commodity costs reduces the average FPU residential customer’s total bill, which has remained unchanged from nearly a decade ago.”

FPU residential electric customers will be receiving an average estimated $3.32 decrease on their monthly bills. Commercial electric customers will also receive monthly bill reductions. Reduced rates for FPU electric customers are reflected on their January bills. The terms of the settlement will further reduce the average residential electric bill by an additional estimated $0.45 beginning January 1, 2021.

Peoples Gas System: As noted in this September 12, 2018 Florida Public Service Commission document

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a Settlement Agreement that will reduce monthly bills for TECO Peoples Gas System (Peoples) customers beginning in January 2019. 

A result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Agreement reduces Peoples revenue requirement by $11.6 million annually. The revenue decrease will affect the base rate portion of the bill for all customer classes.  For example, a residential customer using a monthly average of 20 therms would see a $1.00 reduction in the base rate portion of the bill.

Florida City Gas: As noted in this December 11, 2018 State of Florida Public Service Commission news release

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved  Settlement Agreements for Florida Public Utilities Company (FPUC) and for Florida City Gas (FCG) to implement savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 

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In the Florida City Gas case, the company, OPC, and the Federal Executive Agencies agreed to a 2018 Stipulation and Settlement that will reduce the gas utility’s base rates by a total of $305,000 in January 2019 to reflect ongoing tax savings. Also starting in January 2019, the company’s revenues will be reduced by an additional $305,000 annually for five years to compensate customers for retroactive impacts of the tax law.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


Arkansas Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Monday, June 14th, 2021, 12:39 PM PERMALINK

If Biden and the Democrats enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and congressional Democrats hike the corporate income tax rate, Arkansas households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least six Arkansas utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Entergy Arkansas, Center Point Energy, Black Hills Energy, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Arkansas Oklahoma Gas and Southwestern Power Electric Company passed along tax savings to their customers. 

Entergy Arkansas: As noted in this February 28, 2018 Entergy Arkansas press release excerpt:

Customer bill credits will begin in April so customers will begin to benefit almost immediately and prior to summer when usage is typically higher.

Residential customers will see a savings of an estimated $20 per month for every 1000 kWh consumed from April 2018 to December 2019.

Business customers also will see significant bill reductions, allowing them to reinvest those savings into their business in 2018 as they deem appropriate.

Other effects of the TCJA are being considered in a docket opened by the APSC, and we expect those customer benefits to be reflected in future rate changes.

Center Point Energy: As noted in this August 28, 2018, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette article excerpt:

CenterPoint Energy, the largest natural gas utility in the state with more than 400,000 customers, has proposed to reduce its rates by $19.2 million beginning in October.

CenterPoint filed the request with the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Friday in response to an order by the commission to reduce rates as a result of the federal tax law change passed in December. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

If the commission approves the lowered rate, Houston-based CenterPoint's rates would drop 9.5 percent on bills from October to January and 7.3 percent in January. For a customer with a bill of $100, it would fall to $90.50 under the first scenario and to $92.70 under the second scenario.

"Tax reform is a win for customers and reduced costs are being returned to them through various mechanisms or rate proceedings within each of our operating jurisdictions," said Alicia Dixon, CenterPoint's spokesman.

Black Hills Energy: As noted on the Black Hills Energy website:

Arkansas customers served by Black Hills Energy are seeing the benefits of the federal corporate tax rate reduction from 35 percent to 21 percent. These benefits first appeared on customers’ October 2018 bills. A typical residential customer will receive a monthly refund of about $4.64 per month ending in the middle of May 2019.

The total amount of cost-savings related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for Arkansas customers is $8.2 million.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric: As noted in this Oklahoma Gas & Electric press release

OG&E today announced that its average Arkansas residential customer will see approximately $113 in savings on upcoming electric bills.

In October, customers will see a credit of approximately $57 on their electric bill. Then, beginning in November, customers will see a credit of approximately $4 per month through the end of 2019. The savings are made possible by the reduction in corporate tax rates approved by Congress and signed by President Trump in December 2017.

“We’re pleased to pass on to our customers the benefits of tax savings that resulted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said OG&E spokesman Brian Alford.

The credit will be noted on October bills as “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Credit.”

Arkansas Oklahoma Gas: As noted in this October 9, 2018 Arkansas Public Service Commission document

The purpose of this rider is to provide customers with certain tax benefits associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). The TCJA reduces the maximum corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% beginning January 1, 2018. TA flows back to customers the net impact of the lower corporate income tax rate that includes annual tax savings, as well as changes to Accumulated Deferred Income Tax (ADIT) amounts. An adjustment for WNA impact for January 2018 through April 2018 will be included in the 2018 TA Rates.

TA applies to all natural gas service provided under any rate schedule, including rates under Special Contracts, subject to the jurisdiction of the Arkansas Public Service Commission. 

Monthly credits shall appear as a line item on the bill titled, “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Credit.” 

Beginning with the November 2018 billing month through the December 2018 billing month, all retail base rates will be decreased by the amounts listed in Attachment A. The rates include carrying charges, calculated using the pre-tax rate of return approved in the Company’s most recent rate case in Docket No. 13-078-U, for the over collection in tax expense from January 1, 2018 until the date this rider became effective.

Southwestern Power Electric Company: As noted in this February 5, 2020 Arkansas Public Service Commission document:

On January 31, 2020, Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) filed with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (Commission) proposed revisions to Rate Schedule 49, Federal Tax Cut Adjustment Rider (FTCA Rider) and the Supplemental Direct Testimony and Exhibits of Shawnna G. Jones. 

Ms. Jones testifies that the total true-up amount due to Arkansas retail customers is an additional refund of $s,866,955 with carrying charges in the true up resulting in an additional refund of $321,726. She requests that the Commission approve Rider FTCA to be in effect for the March 2020 billing month that begins on February 28, 2020. Other than the true-up revisions to Rider FTCA, Ms. Jones testifies that SWEPCO proposes additional language to Rider FTCA that any residual amounts, after the refund is applied in March 2020, will be included in SWEPCO's next Energy Cost Recovery Rider filing with interest. Ms. Jones testifies that the bill impact to an average Residential customer using 934 kWh per month is a credit of $22.91 or a 23.28 percent decrease to total monthly bill. She states that SWEPCO will reflect the true-up as a separate line item on the customer bills labeled "Tax Cuts & Jobs Credit." Jones Supplemental Direct at 6-9.

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On the basis of the evidence currently before the Commission, namely, the testimony and exhibits filed herein by SWEPCO and Staff, the Commission approves SWEPCO's Rate Schedule No. 49 filed on January 31, 2020, as Supplemental Direct Exhibit SGJ-2, to become effective for bills rendered on or after February 28, 2020, and remain in effect until March 31, 2020.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


Washington State Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Friday, June 11th, 2021, 2:57 PM PERMALINK

If Cantwell and Murray enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray hike the corporate income tax rate, Washington households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least five Washington utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, Avista Corporation, Puget Sound Energy Inc., Cascade Natural Gas, Pacific Power and Light and Northwest Natural Gas Company passed along tax savings to their customers.

Puget Sound Energy Inc.: As noted in this April 30, 2018 the Seattle Times excerpt:

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) says it will pass all of a $96.5-million cut in federal taxes on to electric and natural gas customers.

The tax savings will cut residential electric bills by $3.50 a month and trim natural gas bills by $1.83 a month, according to a written statement from the organization. Those rate adjustments will take effect Tuesday.

Pacific Power and Light: As noted in this December 22, 2020 DailyEnergyInsider excerpt:

The first general rate case filed by Pacific Power in Washington since 2014, it also accelerates pass-through of remaining federal tax savings from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and depreciation of coal plant investments to remove coal, almost doubles the amount of wind generation being brought to Washington, establishes an advisory committee to oversee the development of new assistance programs for low-income customers and creates a new, flattened rate structure.

Cascade Natural Gas: As noted in this December 2019 Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business excerpt:

Rate changes for Cascade primarily are due to the purchased gas cost and decoupling mechanism, but they also include cost recovery for pipeline replacement, conservation programs, low-income assistance, and refunds related to excess deferred income taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Kennewick-based Cascade serves more than 220,000 residential and business customers in 68 communities throughout the state, including Kennewick, Walla Walla, Sunnyside, Yakima, Wenatchee, Aberdeen, Bellingham, Bremerton, Longview, Moses Lake and Mount Vernon.

Northwest Natural Gas Company: As noted in this Northwest Natural Gas Company document:

The Order authorizes NW Natural to provide federal tax reform benefits to customers related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017. The Order directs NW Natural to provide customers with a rate reduction of $2.1 million over one year to reflect the benefit of the lower federal corporate income tax rate accumulating from January 1, 2018 through October 31, 2019, and provides an additional annual rate reduction initially set at approximately $0.5 million to reflect a benefit from the remeasurement of deferred tax liabilities of approximately $15.0 million.

Avista Corporation: As noted in this April 27, 2018 Avista press release:

Avista’s (NYSE:AVA) electric and natural gas general rate cases have concluded, with an order issued by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Commission or UTC). The Commission approved one-time electric and natural gas rate adjustments which will take effect May 1, 2018.

The Commission’s order approved electric rates designed to increase annual billed revenues by $10.8 million, or 2.1 percent and natural gas rates designed to decrease annual billed revenues by $2.1 million, or 1.6 percent. These revenues include the return to customers through base rates of approximately $26.9 million for electric service, and $5.5 million for natural gas service, as a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


Wyoming Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Friday, June 11th, 2021, 11:37 AM PERMALINK

If Biden and the Democrats enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and congressional Democrats hike the corporate income tax rate, Wyoming households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least four Wyoming utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Wyoming Public Service Commission, Black Hills Energy, Black Hills Wyoming Gas, LLC, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Rocky Mountain Power passed along tax savings to their customers.

Black Hills Energy: As noted in this September 23, 2019 ShortGO article:

Black Hills Energy’s Cheyenne electric utility customers are seeing benefits of the federal corporate tax rate reduction from 35 percent to 21 percent on September bills. The Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC) approved a proposal to return the tax savings stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts for 2018 and 2019 in the form of a one-time bill credit to customers on their September bills.

The residential customer credit is $83.62, the commercial customer credit is $147.37, the Secondary General customer credit is $3,586.24, and the Primary General Service customer credit is $32,810.64. Customers will see slightly different amounts on their bill based on the refund impacts on taxes and fees included on the bill.

Black Hills Wyoming Gas, LLC: As noted in this March 10, 2020 Black Hills Wyoming Gas document:

The TCJA Amortization Credit refunds the net Non-Protected excess deferred income tax items owed to customers resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These tax items include the Non-Protected Property Rate Base amounts owed to customers, the Non-Protected Non-Property Rate Base amounts owed by customers, and the Non-Refunded ARAM from 2018 and 2019 owed to customers. The total amount to be returned to customers through the TCJA Amortization Credit is $1,672,740 as approved by the Commission in Docket No. 30026-2-GR-19.

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.: As noted in this Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. document:

Wyoming customers of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (Montana-Dakota) who were billed for electric service during the months of January 2018 through April 2019 will see a one-time bill credit on their electric service bill issued between July 25, 2019 and August 26, 2019. This refund is associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed into law in late December 2017. 

On June 13, 2018, Montana-Dakota filed an application with the Wyoming Public Service Commission (Commission) to update the Company’s electric rates in response to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Commission’s Order  Requiring Montana-Dakota to File its Tax Assessment Plan and Create a Deferred Regulatory Liability Account issued on December 29, 2017. On April 8, 2019, the Commission authorized an overall decrease in the Company’s electric service rates to be effective May 1, 2019 and a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Refund for customers who were billed for electric service January 2018 through April 2019 to be applied to customers’ accounts no later than August 1, 2019. The bill credit includes interest at the Commission approved interest rate. New Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Refund for Wyoming Customers for January 2018 through April 2019 Electric Service Electric service rates were implemented May 1, 2019. 

The electric rate refund plan approved by the Commission provides for the refunding of $1,614,096 to Wyoming electric service customers through a one-time bill credit on their electric bill to be applied by August 1, 2019. Each customer’s refund is based on their January 2018 through April 2019 consumption.

The bill credit is shown as a separate line item in the Account Summary section of your bill and will be identified as “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Refund”.

Rocky Mountain Power: As noted in this April 17, 2019 Wyoming Public Service Commission document

On May 16, 2018, the Company submitted an application proposing a new Tariff Schedule 197, 2017 Federal Tax Act Adjustment, to return the benefits of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to customers in Docket No. 20000-536-ER-18. The Company included, as part of its 3 application, a stipulated settlement agreement (“Stipulation”) between Rocky Mountain Power and the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers (“WIEC”) and a request to (1) reduce customer rates by $22.5 million; and (2) offset the 2018 Energy Cost Adjustment Mechanism (“ECAM”) deferral balance, for which the Company sought recovery in Docket No. 20000-535-EA-18 (“2018 ECAM”), by $3.6 million—both with benefits or savings resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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On March 15, 2019, the Commission issued its Final Order in the docket and approved the part of the Stipulation in which parties agreed to refund $22.5 million of the tax benefits to customers until the next general rate case using average-of-period rate base calculations and rejected the part of the Stipulation in which parties agreed to use some of the benefits to automatically offset future costs related to the ECAM and Energy Vision 2020 projects. The Commission indicated instead that it would consider them in future, separate applications.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


Hawaii Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Thursday, June 10th, 2021, 2:53 PM PERMALINK

If Hirono and Schatz enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz hike the corporate income tax rate, Hawaii households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least three Hawaii utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light passed along tax savings to their customers. 

Hawaiian Electric: As noted in this March 9, 2018 Hawaiian Electric press release:

Customers of Hawaiian Electric Company will see their bills fall as the result of an updated base-rate adjustment approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Friday.

Changes in federal tax law reduced the corporate tax bill of Hawaiian Electric and the company announced in January it planned to pass on the savings to customers.

In February, the PUC approved an interim rate that increased the typical Oahu monthly residential bill for 500 kilowatt hours by $2.60, a 2.3 percent increase. It was the first increase to base rates in six years.

At the time, Hawaiian Electric said it was continuing to review the impact of the new tax law and that an updated rate filing would be made once the amount to be returned to customers was calculated. Hawaiian Electric made similar rate reductions in 1987 and 1989 following changes to federal tax law.

Under the new base rate approved Friday, the impact of the reduced tax collection is about $3.36 per month, resulting in the typical Oahu residential bill falling by about 76 cents from what it had been before the February rate increase.

Maui Electric: As noted in this January 10, 2018 Hawaiian Electric press release:

The 460,000 customers of the Hawaiian Electric Companies could see lower electric bills as a result of the federal corporate income tax cut. Changes to federal tax law will lower corporate rates from 35 percent to 21 percent starting this year. That is expected to result in a lower tax bill for Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaiʽi Electric Light. State and federal taxes are included in the base electric rate and with a lower federal tax, the tax rate imbedded in the bill will be reduced. “We’re in the process of analyzing the impact of the tax overhaul but it’s pretty clear at this point that this will benefit most customers,” said Tayne Sekimura, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the Hawaiian Electric Companies. “We will work with our regulators and the Consumer Advocate to determine the exact amount of the tax reduction and the best way to pass on the savings.” Any change in the base rate is subject to the approval of the Public Utilities Commission, which will also determine the timing of any change in rates.

Hawaii Electric Light: As noted in this March 28, 2018 Hawaiian Electric press release:

Hawaii Electric Light customers will see lower electric bills if a rate adjustment proposal submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is approved.

The proposal will lower the typical bill for a Hawaii Island residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours by $4.97 a month. The effective date of the new rate will be determined by the PUC.

Changes in federal tax law reduced Hawaii Electric Light's corporate tax bill. In January, the company announced it planned to pass on the savings to customers.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


Nebraska Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Thursday, June 10th, 2021, 2:48 PM PERMALINK

If Biden and the Democrats enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and congressional Democrats hike the corporate income tax rate, Nebraska households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least two Nebraska utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Nebraska Public Service Commission, Black Hills Gas Distribution, LLC and Black Hills/Nebraska Gas Utility Company passed along tax savings to their customers.

Black Hills Gas Distribution, LLC: As noted in this June 19, 2018 Nebraska Public Service Commission document

There is a benefit to be realized by both Black Hills entities named in this docket as a result of the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. This benefit should be passed on to Black Hills customers. 

Under the plan proposed by the parties in the Stipulation, BHE would credit customers through a combination of fixed bill credits and volumetric bill credits. BHGD would only provide a fixed credit to its customers, with no volumetric component, due to the operation of the Choice Gas supply program. 

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For BHGD, the total amount to be refunded would be approximately $926,691. The average residential customer of BHGD would receive $9.15 annually. The average small commercial customer would receive $15.87 annually. The average large commercial customer would receive $93.39 annually. 

Black Hills/Nebraska Gas Utility Company: As noted in this June 19, 2018 Nebraska Public Service Commission document

There is a benefit to be realized by both Black Hills entities named in this docket as a result of the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. This benefit should be passed on to Black Hills customers. 

Under the plan proposed by the parties in the Stipulation, BHE would credit customers through a combination of fixed bill credits and volumetric bill credits. BHGD would only provide a fixed credit to its customers, with no volumetric component, due to the operation of the Choice Gas supply program. 

For BHE, the total amount to be refined would be approximately $2,287,403. The average residential customer would receive a total of approximately $9.53 annually. The average commercial/industrial customer would receive a total of approximately $22.65 annually. The average Energy Options Firm customer would receive a total of approximately $39.80 annually.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


New York Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Thursday, June 10th, 2021, 11:50 AM PERMALINK

If Schumer and Gillibrand enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand hike the corporate income tax rate, New York households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least ten New York utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the New York Public Service Commission, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (electric and gas), Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (steam), New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, Natural Fuel Gas Distribution Company,  Corning Natural Gas Corporation, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, New York American Water, Suez Water New York and National Grid passed along tax savings to their customers.

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (electric and gas): As noted in this January 16, 2020 New York Public Service Commission document:

In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (2017 Tax Act), which, among other things, lowered the highest corporate federal income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and eliminated bonus depreciation. Consequently, the Commission issued an order directing New York utilities to preserve for the benefit of ratepayers the net savings resulting from the 2017 Tax Act through deferral accounting until all net benefits are reflected in rates.

In its initial tariff filings in January 2019, Con Edison proposed revenue requirements that reflected the reduction in the tax rate and the termination of bonus depreciation. The Company proposed to amortize deferred net benefits realized from the tax reforms in 2018 over a three-year period starting January 2020 for electric and a two-year period for gas as there are two years remaining for the three-year amortization of the benefit that started in January 2019. Con Edison also proposed to refund the protected asset related excess deferred federal income taxes (EDFIT) benefits to customers over the average remaining life of the underlying plant assets, and the unprotected EDFIT balances over a five year period.

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (steam): As noted in this August 9, 2019 New York Public Service Commission document

Effective as of October 1, 2018, Con Ed steam rates will include a tax sur-credit as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 impact.  Joining over 100 documented utilities across the country thus far issuing credits for electric, gas, steam, and/or water service, tax sur-credits for Con Ed steam rates range from about $1.02 to $2.25 per Mlb. 

New York State Electric and Gas Corporation: As noted in this May 14, 2018 AVANGRID document:

On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modified the federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum 35 percent to a flat 21 percent rate, effective January 1, 2018. This tax rate reduction will result in lower income tax expense going forward on the books of certain rate-regulated companies, including NYSEG and RG&E. Accordingly, on March 15, 2018, the Commission ordered that, within 60 days of the Order, a number of companies, including NYSEG and RG&E, either (1) submit proposed revisions to their stated transmission rates to reflect the change in the federal corporate income tax rate and describe the methodology used for making those revisions, or (2) show cause why they should not be required to do so.

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NYSEG’s current stated wholesale TSC was set by the Commission in Docket ER97-2353 (Opinion 447), using data from a 1997 test year, and later amended in a settlement approved by the Commission in Docket No. EL04-56. In order to reflect the impact of the change in the federal income tax rate, NYSEG changed the federal income tax rate included in the previously approved rate determination from 35% to 21%, as described and supported by the Affidavit of Dr. Dumais. See Attachment A. This results in a reduction of approximately $4.0 million in the NYSEG annual transmission revenue requirement which, in turn, reduces NYSEG’s transmission by $0.2696 per MWh. 

Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation: As noted in this May 14, 2018 AVANGRID document:

On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modified the federal corporate income tax rate from a maximum 35 percent to a flat 21 percent rate, effective January 1, 2018. This tax rate reduction will result in lower income tax expense going forward on the books of certain rate-regulated companies, including NYSEG and RG&E. Accordingly, on March 15, 2018, the Commission ordered that, within 60 days of the Order, a number of companies, including NYSEG and RG&E, either (1) submit proposed revisions to their stated transmission rates to reflect the change in the federal corporate income tax rate and describe the methodology used for making those revisions, or (2) show cause why they should not be required to do so.

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RG&E’s current stated wholesale TSC was set by the Commission in Docket OA96-141, using data from a 1995 test year. The rates approved by the Commission in that proceeding remain in effect today. In order to reflect the impact of the change in the federal income tax rate, RG&E changed the federal income tax rate included in the previously approved rate determination from 35% to 21%, as described and supported by the Affidavit of Dr. Dumais. See Attachment A. This results in a reduction of approximately $1.6 million from RG&E’s currently effective annual transmission revenue requirement, which, in turn, reduces RG&E’s transmission rate by $0.2229 per MWh.

National Fuel Gas Distribution Company: As noted in this June 15, 2018 New York Public Service Commission document

On June 4, 2018, the Company filed a petition with the Commission regarding the Company’s proposed disposition of net federal income tax savings resulting from the Tax Act and requesting authorization to, among other things, implement a customer refund program (“Customer Refund Program”) to return the net effect of the recent federal income tax rate reduction under the Tax Act, estimated at approximately $7.8 million for 2018 and $10.8 million for 2019, to the Company’s customers as soon as possible.

Corning Natural Gas Corporation: As noted in this September 18, 2018 Star-Gazette excerpt

On August 9, 2018 the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) Issued an order In Case# 17-M-0815 which Instructed Corning Natural Gas Corporation to begin to pass back the net benefits as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The result will be an average decrease on customer's bills of 2.24% effective 10-1-18 through 9-30-19. 

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation: As noted in this February 21, 2019 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission document

As described above, Central Hudson has revised its stated transmission rates to reflect the new 21 percent federal corporate income tax rate, which results in rate reductions for customers. Absent a change to Central Hudson’s stated transmission rates, customers would not receive the benefits of the reduced federal corporate income tax rate. We therefore accept Central Hudson’s proposed revisions to its stated transmission rates, effective March 21, 2018, as requested in Central Hudson’s amended filing. Because Central Hudson proposed revisions to its stated rates to reflect the reduced tax rate, we terminate the section 206 proceeding in Docket No. EL18-77-000. Central Hudson is directed to make refunds, within 30 days of the date of this order, of all amounts collected from ratepayers for periods after the requested effective date in excess of the revised rates. Within 30 days of issuing refunds, Central Hudson must submit a refund report showing the amounts refunded to each ratepayer. The refund report must show the principal amounts and interest refunded to each ratepayer and the interest calculations based on 18 C.F.R. § 35.19a of the Commission’s regulations. 

New York American Water: As noted in this December 13, 2018 New York Public Service Commission document:

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today approved $7.2 million in credits and other financial benefits for New York American Water Company, Inc. customers, a decision consistent with the agreement announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on August 18, 2018 that lowered bills and provided other benefits for the company's 120,000 customers on Long Island. 

“Today’s decisions provide accelerated rate relief to all New York American Water customers and tracks the announcement by Governor Cuomo in August,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “This is a fair and equitable decision to ensure just and reasonable rates for the company’s customers on Long island.” 

The Commission’s action included approving the allocation and disposition of property tax refunds to customers and accelerating the disposition of customer credits relating to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), net of the revenue adjustment  clause and property tax reconciliation surcharge balance, totaling $6.2 million. In addition, the company will contribute $1.01 million to fund a conservation study and rebate program for the benefit of customers.

Suez Water New York: As noted in this October 2, 2018 Gannett News Service excerpt:

Suez customers in New York will see their monthly water bills decrease over the coming year thanks to a federal tax cut passed in December, company officials announced Monday.

Savings for the average residential customer who uses 4,500 gallons of water every month would range between $16 and $35 per year, the company said.

National Grid: As noted in this March 15, 2018 WRGB Albany excerpt:

The initial proposal called for an 11% increase in prices.

Now, under the new approved plan, National Grid says a typical residential customer will see their electricity bill increase by about 3% in the first year, or close to $2 a month.

A natural gas customer will see a monthly bill increase of less than 2% totaling about $1.

The company says the cuts in the proposed rate hike are due in part to the Trump Administration’s corporate tax cuts.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


New Mexico Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Tuesday, June 8th, 2021, 1:23 PM PERMALINK

If Heinrich and Ray Luján enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján hike the corporate income tax rate, New Mexico households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least five New Mexico utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, Public Service Company of New Mexico, El Paso Electric, Southwest Public Service Company, New Mexico Gas Company and Zia Natural Gas Company passed along tax savings to their customers.

Public Service Company of New Mexico: As noted in this February 27, 2018 Albuquerque Journal article excerpt:

The company will gain about $48 million from the lowering of the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. It will pass those gains onto consumers starting this year as part of Public Service Co. of New Mexico’s latest rate case that concluded in December, allowing PNM to lower its newest rate hike to just 1.4 percent.

El Paso Electric: As noted in this April 25, 2018 El Paso Electric news release:

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) today approved El Paso Electric’s (EPE) filing to begin issuing a credit in bills to reflect the reduction of the federal tax rate for New Mexico customers. The federal tax credit will be reflected on customer bills beginning May 1, 2018. 

EPE estimates the credit for the average residential New Mexico customer will range from $1.67 per month in the winter to $2.68 per month in the summer. The credit will appear as a line item adjustment on monthly bills.

EPE estimates that customers will see an annual reduction of approximately $4.9 million in base rates or a credit for all customers at 3.87 percent.

Southwest Public Service Company: As noted in this February 15, 2019 S&P Global excerpt:

Southwestern Public Service Co. reached a settlement agreement with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, under which the utility would see an annual revenue increase of $12.5 million.

The settlement will revise the commission's September 2018 order, which granted the company a revenue increase of approximately $8 million, based on a return on equity of 9.1% and a 51% equity ratio.

The original order also directed the Xcel Energy Inc. subsidiary to refund customers $10.2 million related to adjustments associated with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. Southwestern Public Service, or SPS, appealed the order to the New Mexico Supreme Court.

SPS in October 2017 originally requested a $43 million increase in base rates, an ROE of 10.25% and an equity ratio of 53.97%. The utility later filed a request to reduce revenue requirements by $11 million to reflect the federal tax overhaul.

New Mexico Gas Company: As noted in this New Mexico Gas Company 2018 rate case overview:

The Company is requesting an $8 million increase in annual base revenues, which correlates to approximately a 1.4% increase in an average residential customer bill.

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This rate request applies the benefits of recently enacted federal tax reform to our customers and is $9.6million lower as a result of passing through the tax reform benefits. The request would have been $17.6 million before application of the tax reform benefits

Zia Natural Gas Company: As noted in this March 20, 2018 New Mexico Public Regulation Commission document

On January 26, 2018, ZIA tiled NMPRC Case No. 18-00018-UT, an Application for Revision of its Rates, Rules, and forms under Advice Notice No. 57 ("Application"); supporting schedules, direct testimonies and exhibits; and the Certificate of Service. In summary, ZIA is requesting a general rate increase of $2,597,203. As part of its Application, the Company incorporated the change in federal tax rate as a result of the passage of TCJA. The tax rate change impacted both the income tax expense and ADIT line items used to calculate the proposed customer rates.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


Colorado Residents Will Get Stuck with Even Higher Utility Bills Due to Biden Corporate Tax Rate Hike

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Posted by John Kartch and Michael Mirsky on Tuesday, June 8th, 2021, 1:15 PM PERMALINK

If Bennet and Hickenlooper enact a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to explain why they just increased your utility bills

If President Biden and Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper hike the corporate income tax rate, Colorado households and businesses will get stuck with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Democrats plan to impose a corporate income tax rate increase to 28%, even higher than communist China's 25%. This does not even include state corporate income taxes, which average 4 - 5% nationwide.

Customers bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Corporate income tax cuts drive utility rates down, corporate income tax hikes drive utility rates up. 

Electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, utility companies worked with state officials to pass along the tax savings to customers, including at least five Colorado utilities.

The savings typically come in the form of a rate reduction, a bill credit, or a reduction to an existing or planned rate increase. 

According to a report published in the trade publication Utility Dive, customers nationwide were to receive a $90 billion utility benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Estimates derived from 2017 annual SEC 10-K filings indicate that the 14-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate enacted under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in investor-owned utilities establishing significant regulatory liability balances, totaling approximately $90 billion to be refunded back to customers.

Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a 90-second nationwide utility savings video from local news reports which may be viewed here.

If Democrats now impose a corporate income tax rate increase, they will have to reckon with local news coverage noting utility bills are going up. A vote for a corporate income tax hike is a vote for higher utility bills as households try to recover from the pandemic.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impact: Working with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Public Service Company Gas Department, Public Service Company Electric Department, Black Hills Energy Electric Utility, Black Hills Energy Gas Utility and Colorado Natural Gas, Inc. passed along tax savings to their customers.

Black Hills Energy Electric Utility: As noted in this January 27, 2021 Black Hills Energy news release

Black Hills Energy’s Southern Colorado electric utility residential customers will see the benefits of a federal corporate tax rate reduction in the form of a $50.32 credit on February electric bills. The bill credit is part of a plan approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to return funds to customers resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

As part of the same agreement, Black Hills Energy will also provide residential customers with an additional annual bill credit of approximately $5 beginning in April 2021. The credit will appear on customer bills as a separate line item: "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Adj."

Public Service Company Gas Department: As noted in this Public Utilities Commission of Colorado document

Effective March 1, 2018, the Company’s gas rate case provisional rates will be reduced to reflect the Company’s preliminary estimate of TCJA net impacts of $20 million, as set forth in Appendix A to this Settlement Agreement. The Settling Parties acknowledge that this preliminary estimate in Appendix A is based on high level early estimates using the limited information presently available. To this end, this preliminary estimate includes a contingency to  account for uncertainty and avoid a surcharge to customers in the event the final determination of tax law reductions to rates is lower than the preliminary estimate of the reduction to provisional rates. 

Public Service Company Electric Department: As noted in this Public Utilities Commission of Colorado document:

As set forth in more detail below, the Settling Parties agree that the following TCJA benefits be delivered to Public Service’s electric customers beginning June 1, 2018: 

Black Hills Energy Gas Utility: As noted on the Black Hills Energy website:

We filed for a reduction to the general rate schedule adjustment, or GRSA, to reflect the savings associated with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These benefits first appeared on both gas and electric customers’ July 2018 bills. 

For Colorado gas customers, the GRSA decreased from 0.827% to -2.59%. For Colorado gas distribution customers, the GRSA decreased from 8.56% to 4.41%.

Colorado Natural Gas, Inc.: As noted in this Colorado Natural Gas statement:

At Colorado Natural Gas, our goal is to provide safe, reliable, clean burning and affordable natural gas to individuals, families and businesses in underserved areas of Colorado through exceptional customer service and a commitment to community.

To achieve that goal of providing safe and reliable natural gas to tens of thousands of Coloradans for home heating, hot water, cooking and more, we must maintain and invest in more than 1,200 miles of pipeline, while continuing to provide the quality customer service you’ve come to expect from your local natural gas utility.

All this costs money, which is why we filed a natural gas rate case in May of 2018 with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (Commission). Until our 2018 rate case, we had not changed our rates since 2013, which meant the cost of providing safe and reliable natural gas exceeded what customers were paying.

After thorough review by the Commission and ample time for public input, the rate case settlement was approved on November 1, 2018. New rates went into effect on December 1, 2018.

New Rates:

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You may have heard about the benefits of the federal income tax reform passed in 2017. We were happy to be able to pass on those benefits to our customers through this rate case.

Conversely, if Biden and Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will add to the burden faced by working families. And any small businesses operate on tight margins and can't afford higher heating, cooling, gas, and refrigeration costs.

President Biden should withdraw his tax increases.


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