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Xcel Energy customers in Wisconsin can expect to see a refund of $22.61 this summer as a result of federal tax cuts.

That’s the second largest refund among all the state’s for-profit utilities.

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission finalized an order Thursday requiring the state’s investor-owned utilities to return much of the nearly $200 million in expected savings starting in July.

Xcel’s large commercial customers will see a refund of more than $3,500, while its 11 industrial users will get more than $31,000. The size of the credits are based on the 2017 use of each customer class.

Customers will also receive monthly credits based on use for the remainder of the year. For the average Wisconsin household, that should work out to about $4 a month.

Xcel’s residential natural gas customers will receive a $7.04 refund followed by smaller monthly credits.

Residential electric customers of other utilities will see refunds ranging from about $1.50 to $23.

The PSC estimated that the state’s for-profit utilities will collectively save $190 million to $198 million as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, lowering their cost of doing business.

In addition, transmission companies have been directed by federal regulators to lower the rates for moving electricity across long-distance power lines, which is expected to result in additional savings for some utilities, including municipal and cooperative power companies.

Because utility rates are based on expenses, including taxes, utilities operating with previously established rates have been over-collecting from customers since the start of the year.

Overall, Wisconsin customers are expected to get back about $140 million this year. The commission directed WE Energies, the state’s largest utility group, to apply 80 percent of the savings to the company’s $221 million debt for past transmission projects.

Chris Hubbuch can be reached at 608-791-8217. Follow him on Twitter @chrishubbuch.



Rhymes with Lubbock. La Crosse Tribune reporter and data geek. Covers energy, transportation and the environment, among other things.

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