What is the new PSC natural gas customer benefit?
The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today voted to approve $82 million in customer benefits stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. This includes $16 million in rate credits for Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) customers beginning in July.
Before the TCJA was passed, the Georgia PSC had proposed a base rate increase of approximately $22 million beginning in June of this year.
The rate credits come from the lowering of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. AGL customers can expect these natural gas credit savings to be listed on a line labeled “PSC Approved Tax Cut Credit” and applied to their provider bills twice this coming year.
How much will the PSC bill credit save me?
Before you get excited, keep in mind the old adage of not looking a gift-horse in the mouth. The bill credit isn’t huge —but it is something.
According to the Georgia PSC’s natural gas rate announcement, the two credits amounts will be $8.62 each. The first credit to be applied to natural gas customer bills will be July 2018 and the second in October. 2018. Meanwhile, the AGL delivery charge will remain frozen at the 2017 level for the next two years. AGL expects to file a traditional rate case by June 1, 2019.
In addition to the $16 million, a further $19.5 million in benefits related to the TCJA will be used to pay down the balance on the Pipeline Replacement Program, paying off the debt on that program in May 2025 six months ahead of schedule. Currently, residential customers pay about $4.54 towards that program on the AGL portion of their bill.
So while customers might not be each receiving a huge relief from high AGL rates, they are getting a break from their rate increasing as well as the quicker reduction of their future AGL rate. It may be a modest improvement but it’s an improvement nevertheless.
Be sure to keep up to date on news affecting Natural Gas rates in Georgia at https://www.georgiagassavings.com/blog.