YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The new federal tax plan will benefit Con Edison and other utility companies, saving them billions of dollars.
But as CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the question is whether they will pass that windfall along to their consumers.
At home in Yonkers, Nick Della Rocca is proud to be stingy. He never sets the thermostat above 66 degrees.
“We’re being more and more conscious of electricity and our utility bills,” Della Rocca said.
New York and New Jersey residents bear some of the highest utility costs in the nation, but the power providers are about to get a jolt from tax reform.
Signed by President Donald Trump last month, the tax reform plan slashes the utility companies’ corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
By one estimate, America’s utility companies will save $1 billion this year from tax reform, and $5 billion in the year 2021. Ratepayers and politicians are pressuring the utilities to share the windfall.
Mike Clendenin of Con Edison said the company expects to do just that.
“Customers will see a benefit of that,” Clendenin said. “How that benefit is seen will be determined by the commission.”
The New York State Public Service Commission has ordered Con Ed and other utilities to crunch the numbers on tax reform to make sure customers benefit.
The PSC could eventually order rebates, rate reductions, or a delay in future tax rates.
“The thing that the state regulators will determine is how best to make sure it goes back to the customer,” Clendenin said.
Della Rocca said even if it comes to saving a few months a month, bring it on.
“I’m waiting,” he said. “Are they doing it? You let me know. I’ll be here with champagne.”
He’ll have to keep that champagne on ice until spring – the PSC hopes to have a plan in May.
In New Jersey, a spokesman for the Board of Public Utilities said tax reform’s impact on utilities is under study. A PSE&G spokeswoman said the company will soon file papers to pass tax reform savings along to customers.