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Refunds Have Begun For Pa. Utilities; PPL Customers Will Receive A Larger Refunds Than Expected

07.09.2018

Some Pennsylvania residents including some in the midstate will receive an even larger refund on their utility bills than they expected.

 

Back in May, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued an order requiring a "negative surcharge" or monthly credit on customer bills for a number of electric, natural gas, and water and wastewater utilities.

 

The commission announced that the refunds to customers combined would be around $324 million and are the result of the decrease in federal corporate tax rates and other tax changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. That number has since increased to around $400 million dollars. The original numbers were based on preliminary tax data provided by the companies and upon further review of updated information, the refunds increased for four companies, according to Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, press secretary for the PUC.

 

PPL customers will receive a larger refund than originally expected. The refund will jump from 0.56 percent to 7.05 percent. The company was originally expected to return $5.7 million and will now return $72 million. The other three companies where the refund increased were People Gas Company LLC (no refund to $9.8 million), Peoples Natural Gas Co. ($.2.4 million to $4.1 million) and Peoples Natural Gas Co. - Equitable Division ($5.7 million to $10.8 million).

 

The PUC's order back in May followed an extensive investigation into the effects of federal tax reform on the rates charged by commission-regulated utilities - which, among other things, reflect annual taxes owed both to the federal and state governments. Since the companies' current rates were approved prior to the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the PUC said back in May that it was passing on those savings to consumers.

 

Utility bills are broken down into two charges and consumers will see the decrease from the distribution charges. The monthly credits began on July 1 and are based on billing not usage so consumers should see the impact right away, according to Hagen-Frederiksen.

 

How much consumers will see varies based on usage as well as the company's current rates. The charges will decrease from .66 percent to 8.19 percent depending on the company. Consumers will continue to see the credit on their bill until the company comes back to the PUC to ask for a change in rates which in some cases could be multiple years.

 

The public utilities required to provide this credit to consumers include the following:

 

Here is the percentage the charges will decrease for some companies as ordered by the PUC:

 

How much consumers will see varies based on usage as well as the company's current rates but, here are some examples of some of the refunds customers should expect:

  • PPL says that a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month will now save $3.48 per month on their distribution charges, while a typical small-business customer using 1,000 kWh and 4 kW demand will save about $2.78.
  • Pennsylvania American Water says that the decrease will appear on customers' bills as the "Fed Tax Adjust Surcharge". The company says that a water customer who typically uses 3,000 gallons per month will see $3.61 savings, or $43.32 per year. For water customers who typically use 5,000 gallons per month, the savings will be $5.27, or $63.24 per year.
  • Pennsylvania American Water says that a wastewater customer who typically uses 3,000 gallons per month will see $4.25 savings, or $51 per year. For wastewater customers who typically use 5,000 gallons per month, the savings will be $6.58, or $78.96 per year. The company says that reductions for Scranton, Dunmore and New Cumberland wastewater customers are slightly less due to the lower rates established in the company's most recent rate filing.
  • Residential heating customers of UGI Utilities Inc. - Gas Division will see their monthly bills decrease by an average of $1.81. The company says the average bill will decrease from $69.36 to $67.55.
  • Residential heating customers of UGI Penn Natural Gas will see their monthly bills decrease by an average of $2.01. The company says the average bill will decrease from $91.15 to $89.14.
  • Residential heating customers of UGI Central Penn Gas will see their monthly bills decrease by an average of $4.50. The company says the average bill will decrease from $90.34 to $85.84.

 

Utilities not required to take immediate action because of the continuing analysis of tax reform impacts on their current or pending rate cases include UGI Utilities, Inc. (Electric), Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc., Duquesne Light Company, PECO Energy Company (Electric), York Water Company, Suez Water Pennsylvania, Inc. and Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc.  In each of those situations, any tax savings will be considered as part of the broader evaluation of their rates.


https://www.pennlive.com/business/index.ssf/2018/07/puc_1.html



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