PSC wants tax savings for utilities passed on to consumers

CenterPoint's Power Outage Tracker

PSC advocacy staff members, which represent customers in commission matters, asked the commission to initiate an investigation and request comments to determine the impact of the tax law.

CenterPoint, which has 2.4 million electric and 1 million gas customers in the Houston area, raised both electric and natural gas rates previous year.

Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, a Republican, said the effort is an example of the benefits of the contentious tax law and will ensure savings are passed along to ratepayers.

The Republican tax plan passed Congress late past year before President Donald Trump signed it just before Christmas.

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The move follows Congress' recent passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which included a federal corporate tax rate reduction from 35 to 21 percent.

Utilities are reportedly required to pass on savings to customers as their cost of providing these services falls. "We look forward to working with the PSC to participate in their proceeding examining the issue and any effects the law may have on rates".

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

"It's not a question in my mind of if there will be savings to the individual rate payers, it's just how much and when", said Britton.


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