Electric utilities across the U.S. are requesting ever-larger rate increases, according to an analysis of recent rate case filings being tracked by EQ Research in its Policy Vista™ service. These rate increase proposals could have a big impact both on how, and how much, families and businesses pay for their electricity.
Between July 6, 2018, and July 6, 2019, 54 electric utilities serving roughly 37 million customers (roughly 90 million Americans, or 28% of the population) filed rate cases with state regulators seeking approximately $6.1 billion in annual retail revenue increases. Of those utilities, only four requested decreases in their revenue requirement, and two others requested no change.
The proposed rate increases would likely have been higher had utilities not been refunding hundreds of millions of dollars to customers due to the impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among other provisions, the tax cut bill signed into law by President Trump in December 2017 reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, thereby reducing the amount of money utilities need to collect from customers through their rates to pay their taxes. Since existing rates were based on the higher corporate tax rate, utilities over-collected revenues until their rates were adjusted accordingly.
Read more at Energy Pages.