by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
For background, see my post yesterday, “Federal tax cuts could turn Duke’s big rate hike into a rate cut.”
Duke Energy just announced the following:
Duke Energy today outlined its proposal to pass along savings from the new federal tax law to its North Carolina customers in ways that will lower bills in the near term and help offset increases in the future.
Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) offered the proposal in a filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) today. …
The company recommended several options that the NCUC could select to provide customers with near-term benefits, while minimizing volatility in customer bills.
- Apply tax savings to offset a portion of the current rate request pending before the NCUC.
- Avoid billing customers for storm-related and ongoing environmental compliance costs.
- Accelerate the depreciation of assets, such as smart meters or coal plants, which would reduce future requests to include these investments in customer rates.
Duke’s proposal depends upon the company. For DEC customers, Duke proposes those options for its current base rate case proceeding.
That’s not the case for DEP (formerly Progress Energy) customers. For DEP, Duke’s proposal is “incorporating these benefits either through its next base rate case proceeding, or through an alternate cost recovery mechanism established during the current proceeding.”
As with the Public Staff’s case that Duke’s rate hike be turned into a rate cut, the NCUC is under no obligation to take any or all of Duke’s recommendation. Stay tuned.