Photo courtesy EP Electric
El Paso Electric (EPE) filed a proposal Thursday with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), the City of El Paso and the other incorporated cities and towns within its Texas service territory to provide a credit to customers in Texas for the decrease in the federal income tax rate, effective with bills issued on or after April 1, 2018.
“One of the important provisions of our rate case settlement last year was to create a mechanism to pass-through the tax savings stemming from the reduction in the federal statutory income tax rate that was recently enacted,” said Mary Kipp, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Paso Electric Company. “We worked with all the parties in the case to set up a means to pass that savings along to our customers quickly and efficiently.”
EPE is proposing to provide a rate decrease to pass through the effect of the tax reduction by applying a credit to base rates beginning April 1, 2018, on an interim basis, for the electric service EPE provides to all its approximately 320,000 Texas retail customers until final rates are approved.
If the request is approved by the PUCT and other municipal regulatory authorities, including the City of El Paso, the typical residential customer using an average of 635 kilowatt hours of energy per month could see an average monthly bill decrease of $3.83, or 4.5%.
A small commercial customer could see an average monthly bill decrease of approximately 4.6%.
About the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
The tax rate decrease, from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018, is included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017.
The following table shows the effect of the proposed rate credit on existing rate classes, pending regulatory approval:
|Rate Class||Bill Impact of Tax Credit|
|R02-Small General Service||-4.6%|
|R07-Recreational Lighting Service||-4.7%|
|R08-Governmental Street Lighting Service||-4.6%|
|R09-Traffic Signal Service||-3.8%|
|R11TOU-Municipal Pumping Service||-3.8%|
|R15-Electrolytic Refining Service||-3.3%|
|RWH-Water Heating Service||-4.3%|
|R25-Large Power Service||-3.6%|
|R26-Petroleum Refining Service||-3.3%|
|R28-Private Area Lighting Service||-4.5%|
|R30-Electric Furnace Service||-4.0%|
|R31-Military Reservation Service||-3.6%|
|R34-Cotton Gin Service||-4.9%|