Ohio regulators, utilities spar over federal tax cut savings

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio’s four big electric utilities joined forces this month to challenge a request by state regulators to return proceeds from 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 as potential consumer savings.

The commission ordered the companies to begin tracking how much they are over-collecting when using delivery rates developed under the previous 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 that the PUCO’s order lacks specifics, potentially violates a rule against retroactive utility refunds and falls outside the normal rate-making process.