PUC Approves PECO Settlement including Substantially Lower Rate Increase; Utility to Refund $68 Million in Federal Tax Savings
Published on 12/20/2018
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a partial settlement involving PECO Energy Company (PECO) and various other parties which substantially reduces the rate increase requested earlier this year by the utility and requires the utility to return federal tax savings to customers.
The Commission voted 5-0 today to approve a net revenue increase of $24.9 million for PECO, compared to $81.9 million increase in the utility’s initial filing with the PUC – a reduction of approximately 70-percent in the rate increase that was sought.
Under the settlement approved today, the average monthly bill for a residential customer using 700 kilowatt-hours per month would increase from $102.65 to $103.92 (or 1.2%), effective January 1, 2019.
Additionally, the settlement requires PECO to refund $68 million in savings that resulted from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Residential customers will receive a one-time bill credit in January 2019, while refunds to larger commercial and industrial customers will be spread over a one-year period.
The settlement also includes a pilot project intended to encourage the installation of fast charging stations for electric vehicles and gather data to investigate future rates for direct current fast charger systems – a program highlighted by PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown as an important step to stimulating the electric vehicle market and something that aligns with the Commission’s recent policy statement regarding development of EV charging infrastructure.
Today’s action by the Commission also addresses issues raised by NRG Energy related to default service costs and methods used by PECO to calculate their price-to-compare (used by consumers shopping for competitive energy suppliers).
PECO provides electric services to approximately 1.6 million customers within Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties.
The joint petition for settlement in this rate case was filed by PECO, the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement, the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, the Office of Small Business Advocate, the Philadelphia Area Industrial Energy Users Group, the Coalition for Affordable Utility Services and Energy Efficiency in Pennsylvania, the Tenant Union Representative Network and Action Alliance of Senior Citizens of Greater Philadelphia, the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania, Tesla Inc., ChargePoint Inc., Walmart Stores East LP and Sam’s East Inc.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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