National Grid Rhode Island announced today that it is reducing its electric and gas base distribution rate proposal with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) by more than $25 million. Last November, National Grid had put forth its first proposal since 2012 asking the RIPUC to adjust its base distribution rates for both gas and electric customers. Since that time, National Grid has been assessing how the newly passed federal tax reform legislation that was signed into law in late December could benefit our customers.
“Today’s announcement is a key indicator of how this new tax law can provide real benefits to National Grid’s customers,” said Tim Horan, president and COO of National Grid in Rhode Island. “We are committed to ensuring that the tax savings of the legislation are fully realized and are used to help our customers in their energy bills.”
As part of its review of National Grid’s base rate case filing, the RIPUC issued a data request on December 21 asking the Company to recalculate its proposal to reflect changes from the federal tax reform. National Grid has been examining how the legislation could benefit customers since the law passed last month, and provided the new figures to the RIPUC today.
National Grid initially requested an increase of more than $71 million to support operations and new initiatives in National Grid’s gas and electric business. The new proposal incorporates more than $19 million in tax savings. When coupled with other adjustments made during the recalculation the proposal comes in at approximately $45 million in total. The adjusted figures estimate a request for $27 million on the electric side and $18 million on the gas side.
This proposal will continue to undergo a thorough review process by the RIPUC, expected to last eight months, allowing multiple opportunities for public comment. Any approved rates would not be effective until September 1, 2018.
Millions in Tax Savings To Benefit National Grid Electric and Gas Customers in Rhode Island Company will reduce current distribution rate proposal by $25 million National Grid is still assessing how the reduction will impact customer bills. Considering that the reduction was approximately 35 percent of the initial proposal, customers will see smaller bill impacts than originally proposed, which will vary across rate classes and customer usage.
National Grid has been engaged in the tax reform debate for more than two years, advocating on customers’ behalf for changes that could lower their bills and operating costs. In addition to customers in Rhode Island, the new tax law will benefit the company’s customers in Massachusetts and New York.
Governor Gina Raimondo, who opposed the Trump tax cuts, released the following statement. “I’m pleased that National Grid is responding to my call to protect Rhode Island ratepayers, in light of federal tax changes that slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. National Grid sets aside a percentage of the money Rhode Islanders pay for electricity and gas to pay its taxes; those are the ratepayers’ dollars. Rhode Islanders deserve to get significant relief on their energy bills as a result of the massive tax cut that the President and Congress have given to large corporations like National Grid.”