AEP / Energy / FirstEnergy

Ohio utilities aren’t ready to share federal tax cut with customers

COLUMBUS — “The full benefits of last year’s federal tax cuts haven’t trickled down to Ohio gas and electric bills, and if it’s up to the utilities it could be a while before that happens.

Ohio utility regulators, like those in virtually every state, are deliberating on what to do with millions in tax savings for utilities. Since January 1, companies have enjoyed a 21 percent corporate tax rate, down from a top bracket of 35 percent last year. Customer and environmental advocates want savings passed on to customers as soon as possible.

‘It is patently unfair to Ohio consumers to permit utilities to keep collecting money for taxes that they no longer have to pay,’ Ohio Environmental Council spokesman David Miller said. ‘The PUCO should order that this money be returned to the ratepayers, or this tax cut will simply become a windfall for Ohio’s utility shareholders.’

Ohio’s utilities, with a few limited exceptions, don’t want to pass the benefits along to customers until some uncertain date in the future. They say it isn’t as simple as critics say it is, and the way Ohio regulates utilities further complicates the situation.”

— Kathiann M Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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