Tax turnabout: After plans to hike rates, Pepco now wants to lower them

WASHINGTON — In a flip-flop related to tax reform, Pepco now says it wants to cut rates instead of raise them.

In December and January, the utility announced plans to raise rates in D.C. and Maryland, respectively. If approved by regulators, the average residential customer would have paid an extra $7.50 a month in the District and $5.14 a month in Maryland.

But the sweeping federal tax bill signed into law late last year meant a significant tax savings for the utility. As a result, Pepco is now asking the Maryland Public Service Commission to approve a rate cut.

“What the filing…does is actually pass on $31 million in annual tax savings to our customers,” Pepco’s Marcus Beal told WTOP.

“We’re looking at a decrease to the average customer’s bill of $2.92 a month,” he said.

Pepco expects to make a similar filing this week with regulators in D.C., with the intention of lowering rates there as well.

Baltimore Gas and Electric began passing on its tax savings to residential customers this month.

The Maryland Public Service Commission approved a reduction requested by Washington Gas, the utility’s spokesman Bernie Tylor said. “It’s $2.16 reduction for the average residential heating customer in Maryland,” he said.

Tylor said throughout Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, it’s a total rate reduction of $39.5 million.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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