New tax law leads to lower Consumers Energy gas bills
Some Michigan residents may see their gas or electricity bills decrease by a few dollars starting next month.
The Michigan Pubic Service Commission approved Thursday a $50.9 million annual reduction in bills from Consumers Energy Co. gas and Upper Peninsula Power Co. electric starting July 1. New rates will reflect the savings from a lower federal corporate income tax, according to the commission.
Consumers who use an average 10,000 cubic feet of Consumers Energy gas per month would see a decrease in $2.21 per month. Those who use about 500 kilowatts a month of electricity from Upper Peninsula Power would see their power bill drop by $3.40.
"We felt as though we needed to pass 100 percent of the savings to our customers and the people we're privileged to serve," Consumers Energy spokeswoman Katie Carey said. "This is a step in the process, and we're pleased to see the decreases for our ratepayers."
The rate drop is a part of a series of credits the MPSC announced in February. It follows passage of a cut in the corporate tax rate — from 35 percent to 21 percent — by Congress in December.
Utility customers should see a line for Credit A on their bills; the credit reflects future cost savings based on the new law.
Other credits are expected later this year. One of those credits will look backward at savings from Jan. 1; the other will include other effects on utility bills such as bonus depreciation.
In May, the MPSC approved nearly $50.3 million in cuts to customers of Alpena Power Co., DTE Gas Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp., Northern States Power, SEMCO Energy Gas Co. and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp.
The MPSC decided on rate cases for Consumers Energy, DTE Electric, and Indiana Michigan Power Co. earlier this year before the credit calculations. The implementation of the credit for their rates is expected to occur later this year.