HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Attention consumers!
Here’s something unusual: many are about to get a reduction in utility bills.
“The PUC ordered 17 major electric, natural gas, and water, waste water utilities across the state to effectively reduce their consumer rates by more than $320 million a year,” PUC spokesman Nils Hagen-Frederiksen told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.
Because major utility companies got a big tax break under the federal Republican tax bill of 2017.
Since the PUC factors in taxes when it sets utility rates, the PUC felt it wasn’t right for the utility companies to keep the windfall.
“Each utility will be returning to consumers the amount of excess tax savings that they realized as part of the federal tax reform act,” said Hagen-Frederiksen.
In this region, the Equitable Division of Peoples Gas was ordered to reduce transmission rates on customer bills by 1.90 percent, Peoples Gas by 2.67 percent, West Penn Power by 7.34 percent, and Pennsylvania American Water by 7.68 percent.
Beginning July 1st, rate reductions will apply to the regulated transmission costs, not the unregulated supply costs, on monthly bills.
Not every utility will reduce its rates on July 1.
Those that have recently applied for a rate increase, like Columbia Gas and Duquesne Light, will have the tax savings factored in to the PUC’s final decision.
That could still mean a savings at some point, since Duquesne Light was ordered to cut transmission rates by 4.09 percent and Columbia Gas by 4.11 percent.
And a few lucky customers might get a triple.
“If you’re in that sweet spot in the Pittsburgh area and you’re served by an electric, a natural gas and a regulated water utility, you’re going to see all three of those bills change,” said Hagen-Frederiksen. “They’re all going to move downward.”