PUCO Considers Whether Utilities Should Pass on Federal Tax Cuts

Mar 2, 2018

Asim Haque, PUCO chair, after speaking at the Columbus Metropolitan Club in downtown Columbus.

Corporations are seeing big savings as the effects of the large federal tax cut take place. Now state energy regulators want to see if Ohio’s major utilities are going to pass those savings on to the ratepayers. It’s unknown whether the corporation tax cuts will result in lower electric bills.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has opened up hearings to find out if utilities should decrease electric bills based on the money they’re getting from the big corporate tax cut.

PUCO Chair Asim Haque won’t say what he thinks should be done, but he notes there was a similar tax cut in 1986.

“The commission dealt with it and we are actually following a similar rubric through the issuance of requests for comments. We are dealing with it in a similar fashion that we did in the 80’s," Haque says.

The four major utilities were all hesitant to jump into reduced distribution rates in their PUCO findings.  FirstEnergy was the most vocal, saying their base distribution rates must stay frozen until their next rate case in 2024.