Lower electric bills possible

Residents may see a decrease in their electric bills over the next few months because of an order by the State Corporation Commission (SCC), Ken Schrad, SCC spokesman wrote in a release.

Schrad noted the SCC took actions to ensure public utilities customers in Virginia receive the benefits of the corporate tax cut contained in the federal tax legislation enacted last month.

The legislation, which went into effect January 1, cut the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, according to a release from the SCC.

This tax cut, in turn, reduces the cost of service for many of Virginia’s major electric, gas and water utilities. Rates paid by customers are based on the cost of service, according to the release.

To preserve the tax savings for customers, the SCC ordered all applicable Virginia utilities to account for the tax savings by accruing a regulatory liability on the utility’s books, the release stated.

As a result, the tax savings will be quantified and available to be passed on to customers in subsequent rate proceedings, according to the release.

The utilities subject to the SCC’s order serve millions of Virginia residential and business customers, and include Appalachian Power Company; Southwestern Virginia Gas; Virginia-American Water Company; Aqua Virginia, Inc.; Washington Gas Light; Columbia Gas of Virginia; Virginia Natural Gas; Roanoke Gas; Atmos Energy; Appalachian Natural Gas Distribution; Kentucky Utilities; and Virginia Electric and Power Company.

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