AG's urge utilities to share the wealth

ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- Utility companies will get to keep bigger chunks of their money thanks to the new tax code. But, customers say they want a piece of the pie too.

Now, several attorneys general are trying to get those companies to share the savings with taxpayers.

The actual savings has yet to be determined, but one utility company in northern Illinois has already taken the initiative. It's reducing bills by just $2 - $3 a month.

In a press release, ComEd says the break is coming from the $200 million it's now saving. The federal tax code reduces the corporate rate from 35 to 21%. So far, ComEd is the only utility company in the state promising to reduce rates.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging a federal commission to investigate what businesses are charging and see if the prices are justified. Some say it would bring relief after years of increase rates.

In the letter, Madigan urges the commission to act quickly so customers can reap benefits sooner. She also asks utility companies set a date to issue refunds to customers for any overpayments.

Ameren provided us with this statement:

"Ameren Illinois has filed a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) seeking approval to pass along federal tax savings to our natural gas customers, and a similar petition will be filed in the coming weeks on behalf of our electric customers.  The Smart Grid Law of 2011 provides the mechanism to provide these savings and we are in discussions with the ICC to expedite the process so electric and natural gas customers can receive these benefits as soon as possible. Ameren Illinois residential customers are also benefiting from a $1.70 per month savings on their electric bill in 2018 as a result of the Smart Grid Law."

In the past, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission adjusted customers' rates to reflect a reduction in federal income taxes.

In 1987, the commission allowed electric utilities to file for rate decreases after the corporate tax rate went from 46 to 34%. 


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