MPSC orders DTE Gas to refund $24.9 million from tax cut to customers

DTE Gas will return a total of $24,995,319 to ratepayers (Case No. U-20189), who will see the refunds, known as Credit B, on bills from January 2019 through June 2019. An average residential customer who uses 10,000 cubic feet of natural gas a month will see bills drop $2.21.

The MPSC in May approved an initial bill adjustment, known as Credit A, for DTE Gas customers as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Monthly bills declined starting in July an average of $2.12 based on the Credit A recalculations ordered by the Commission after passage of the TCJA.

DTE Gas is the seventh utility company to have its Credit B refunds OK’d by the MPSC. In September, refunds were approved for electric customers of Alpena Power Co. and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC), and gas customers of Michigan Gas Utility Corp. (MGU), Northern States Power (NSP), SEMCO Energy Gas Co., and UMERC. In August, Northern States Power Co. (NSP) was the first utility to have its Credit B approved.

Including DTE Gas today, the MPSC has so far ordered $32,620,909 in Credit B refunds. That’s in addition to $379.5 million in Credit A rate reductions for utility customers in Michigan.

Credit A calculations were the first round of refunds approved by the Commission. Customers have seen those monthly adjustments on their bills since the summer. Credit B refunds are calculated from Jan. 1, when the TCJA went into effect, to the date when Credit A adjustments started being applied to bills. A third round of rate changes, called Calculation C, will capture any remaining, long-term impacts of the TCJA.

Still to be calculated are Credit B impacts for Consumers Energy Co. gas and electric, DTE Electric Co., Indiana Michigan Power Co. (I&M), and Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO).