Ohio electric companies push back at passing tax savings to customers

(FILE - WSYX/WTTE)

Ohio's four big electric utilities are challenging a request by state regulators to return proceeds of the federal tax cut to customers by reducing rates.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in January instructed American Electric Power, Dayton Power & Light, Duke Energy and FirstEnergy to treat any tax savings received after Jan. 1, 2018, as potential consumer savings.

The commission ordered them to begin tracking how much they're over-collecting by maintaining delivery rates developed under the old 35-percent federal tax rate, rather than using the new 21-percent rate.

The companies pushed back in an unusual joint filing Feb. 9. They argued the PUCO's order lacks specifics, potentially violates a rule against retroactive utility refunds and falls outside the normal rate-making process.

The commission is accepting comments through Wednesday.

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