Olympia, Wash. - State regulators today announced slightly higher rates for Puget Sound Energy electric and natural gas customers after recalculating the amount of tax credits passed back to customers in the company’s recent rate case.
These adjustments result in a small change to customer rates from those originally announced on July 8. Consequently, PSE’s average residential electric customer using 900 kWh a month will see a rate increase of 1.7% or $1.53 more, for an average monthly bill of $91.63; while the average residential natural gas customer using 64 therms a month will see a 0.91% increase and pay $0.54 more for an average monthly bill of $60.14.
Puget Sound Energy filed a request for clarification following the original rate case order, which the commission granted. In its request, the company stated that the amount used in the commission’s revenue requirement calculation for over-collected tax funds returned to customers was incorrect.
In its order on the motion, the commission acknowledged the incorrect calculation, but pointed out that this was a result of PSE’s failure to provide precise and sufficient information in response to a request from the commission.
The company will determine the date rates become effective in their updated tariff sheets.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the federal income tax rates for companies, creating an over collection of taxes from customers. Regulated utilities must pass these funds back to customers through rates as stated by the commission in January 2018.
Bellevue-based PSE provides electricity service to more than 1.1 million electric customers in eight Washington counties: Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Thurston, and Whatcom. They also provide natural gas service to more than 800,000 customers in six Washington counties: King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston.
The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.