Mich. regulators: Tax cuts could reduce utility bills

Associated Press

Lansing — Michigan regulators are ordering 13 utilities to study the impact of new federal tax cuts and how savings will be passed along to consumers through lower electric and gas bills.

The order was issued Wednesday during a special meeting called by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Utilities have until Jan. 19 to file comments with the state on how they propose to return savings to customers.

Commissioner Rachael Eubanks says utilities will likely see a “significant” reduction in federal taxes, and their response to the state will “provide broader input regarding the appropriate avenue for how to extend benefits to customers.”

“The information we receive in this docket will be incredibly useful in understanding the magnitude of the expected reduction in federal taxes that the utilities pay, which is likely to be significant,” Eubanks said in a statement.

Commissioners want the savings calculated from the effective date of the federal law, which is Monday.

The order applies to Alpena Power Co., Consumers Energy Co., Detroit Thermal, DTE Electric Co., DTE Gas Co., Indiana Michigan Power Co., Northern States Power Co., Upper Peninsula Power Co., Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp., Wisconsin Electric Power Co., Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-Op, Michigan Gas Utilities Corp. and SEMCO Energy Gas Co.

Detroit-based DTE officials said in a statement Wednesday they were reviewing the impact of the federal tax cuts.

DTE spokeswoman Carly Getz did not specify how the cuts could affect utility bills for customers.

“We will file our comments with the commission by their Jan. 19 deadline,” Getz said in an email. “We’ll be able to provide additional detail at that time.”

Detroit News Staff Writer Nicquel Terry contributed.