Customers of Cleco and Entergy will see savings and rebates as a result of the tax cuts and jobs act that went into effect in January.
Although the tax cuts and jobs act lowered the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent on January 1st, private utility companies were still charging their customers at 35 percent.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission ruled that those companies should charge the lower rate and refund the extra money that customers paid.
Cleco Public Relations manager, Jennifer Cahill explained that the collection stayed at 35 percent because they can’t legally change the rates.
“We have to wait for the direction of the LPSC as to when and how the customers will see.” said Cahill.
Cahill adds that they are working closely with the Louisiana Public Service Commission to figure out how the corporate tax savings should be passed down to its customers.
“So when the LPSC determines the exact benefits of the customers and when they should receive, Cleco will respond to any money or value to the customers.” said Cahill.
The utility company also acknowledged that they never intended to keep the extra money they were collecting.
“It something that we’ve anticipated and we are prepared to pass along the savings to our customers at the direction of the LPSC. They will get that money back with an accruing rate so even if they don’t see it until July. They’re going to see it all.” said Cahill.
Cleco has been given until March 21st to provide the LPSC with recommendations on how the federal tax benefits can go back to the customers.
Entergy also released this statement on the topic.
Entergy believes that the tax reform legislation will benefit our customers by lowering the tax costs that they otherwise would pay in rates. These lower tax costs come at a time when our utility is making significant investments to modernize our electric infrastructure in order to better serve our customers, and they will help us keep rates down.
Today, our rates are among the lowest in the United States, and we want that to remain the case. We are working very closely with the Louisiana Public Service Commission staff and other interested parties on a plan to present to the Commission to timely and appropriately reflect the benefits of tax reform in customer rates.