As federal tax rate falls, so could electric bills

Companies expect to pass on benefits from corporate tax cut

Release Date: 1/10/2018

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HONOLULU, Jan. 10, 2018 - The 460,000 customers of the Hawaiian Electric Companies could see lower electric bills as a result of the federal corporate income tax cut.

Changes to federal tax law will lower corporate rates from 35 percent to 21 percent starting this year. That is expected to result in a lower tax bill for Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.  

State and federal taxes are included in the base electric rate and with a lower federal tax, the tax rate imbedded in the bill will be reduced.  

"We're in the process of analyzing the impact of the tax overhaul but it's pretty clear at this point that this will benefit most customers," said Tayne Sekimura, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the Hawaiian Electric Companies. "We will work with our regulators and the Consumer Advocate to determine the exact amount of the tax reduction and the best way to pass on the savings."  

Any change in the base rate is subject to the approval of the Public Utilities Commission, which will also determine the timing of any change in rates.