BGE to Cut Customers’ Bills by a Few Dollars by Passing on Tax Savings

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A sample BGE bill.

BGE customers should be seeing some slight cuts to their monthly bills very soon after a state commission yesterday approved the utility’s plan to pass on more than $100 million in tax savings from the new federal tax bill.

The average residential bill for electric and gas service will fall by $5.41 starting Feb. 1, including a $2.91 average drop in charges for electric service, according to a release. Commercial customers will get a break, too, though the company did not specify how much. The cuts should be noticeable starting with February bills.

BGE in early January submitted a plan to the Maryland Public Service Commission to pass on $103 million in tax savings from the new tax code overhaul that Donald Trump signed into law in December. The commission later ordered all utilities to do so, though BGE proposed its plan voluntarily.

The new tax code law cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, leaving companies with substantial savings and some, such as Comcast and AT&T, passing on¬†some of the bounty to employees (albeit while also disingenuously laying off thousands of workers in the process). In BGE’s case, the company opted to pass on savings to customers.

The commission approved the plan yesterday.

“We are pleased to have another opportunity to further reduce the average BGE residential customers’ total bills, which remain below levels from a decade ago,” CEO Calvin G. Butler Jr. said in a statement.

The Maryland Comptroller’s office found in a report published last week that the tax code overhaul will reduce federal tax bills for 71 percent of Marylanders, while 13 percent will pay more and 16 percent will see unchanged bills.

The tax law notably capped the combined local and state deduction for a taxpayer at $10,000. The comptroller found that if Marylanders minimize their combined federal-state-local tax burden, 28 percent of residents will pay more for state and local taxes and 68 percent will see bills remain the same.

Gov. Larry Hogan has said he will propose legislation to keep the tax code overhaul from affecting his constituents’ local and state bills, though Maryland’s Democratic members of Congress are pressing him to protect them against changes in federal tax as well.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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