PSC Sets Process For Utilities To Calculate Tax Law Savings – Rate Reductions

LANSING – The state’s 13 investor-owned utilities will provide the Public Service Commission with calculations for rate reductions to pass along to ratepayers as a result of the new federal tax law and as part of a three-part process the commission rolled out Thursday.

By March 30, nine of the 13 utilities will be required to calculate a rate reduction to be submitted, which the commission is calling “Credit A.” The commission will review each of the filings and issue rulings on them by June 30. According to a PSC news release, most of the customer benefits from the federal tax law will be realized through this first step of the process.

Detroit Thermal LLC, DTE Gas Company, Northern States Power Company, Upper Peninsula Power Company, Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation, Wisconsin Electric Power Company, Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-Op, Michigan Gas Utilities Corporation and SEMCO Energy Gas Company will be subject to the March 30 filing deadline for Credit A.

Three companies, Consumers Energy Company, DTE Electric Company and Indiana Michigan Power Company, will have a deadline of 30 days after their current pending rate cases are decided to file their calculations for Credit A.

The final utility, Alpena Power Company, recently had a ruling on a rate case before the commission and will have to file separately.

An August 30 deadline has been set for a second step, a “Credit B” calculation. The purpose of this calculation is to determine customer savings due for ratepayers for the period of January 1 through June 30.

A third and final deadline for utilities is October 1. Utilities will be required to file an application with the PSC to calculate impacts of items including excess deferred taxes or bonus depreciation that was not accounted for in either Credit A or Credit B. From there the commission will determine how to pass along those benefits to customers.

“The commission appreciates the input that helped to craft this approach to provide rate relief to customers in an accelerated manner without sacrificing accuracy or opportunity for stakeholder participation. We are expediting the simplest calculations so that customers will see the benefit from the tax reduction as quickly as prudently possible,” Commissioner Rachael Eubanks said in a statement.

Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe said in a statement the company appreciates the PSC plan to provide lower bills to customers.

“Federal tax reform will ultimately reduce customer bills by approximately $200 million annually, which equates to up to 4 percent. These are real dollars helping our neighbors’ pocketbooks,” Poppe said.

This story was published by Gongwer News Service.