- Duke Energy and PSNC Energy have announced they will bill customers according to North Carolina's corporate tax rate of 5%, even though the NC Utilities Commission has ruled they may continue to collect revenue as if the tax is 6.9%
- The Utilities Commission ruled in a 4-3 vote earlier this month that North Carolina utilities could continue to bill customers as if the tax rate was 6.9%, although the rate has been cut to 6% this year, and will reduce to 5% in 2015.
- Duke and PSNC do not oppose the NCUC ruling, according to reporting from The News & Observer, but rather had already reduced their rates to reflect the lower taxes.
The party-line decision on corporate taxes from the NC Utilities Commission earlier this month sparked controversy between the agency's Democratic minority and Republicans installed by Gov. Pat McCrory. The GOP members of the commission found that the NCUC did not have the authority to adjust corporate tax rate recovery for utilities.
The decision from Duke and PSNC to charge according to existing tax rates will save individual consumers less than a dollar on average each month, but critics of the NCUC ruling say that would have amounted to millions of dollars in windfall profits for the utilities. Duke in particular would have banked about $19 million if it continued to calculate charges at the 6.9% rate.
It is unclear how other North Carolina utilities will respond to the decision from Duke and PSNC. Dominion and Piedmont could not be reached for comment, according to the News & Observer.