TOPEKA — On March 27, the Kansas Corporation Commission approved settlement agreements for both Atmos Energy and Black Hills Energy that will result in customer bill credits beginning next month. The credits are due to federal tax law changes that took effect in January reducing the utilities’ tax rates from 35 to 21 percent.

Residential gas customers served by Atmos will receive an average annual reduction of $18.56 reflected in a line item on their monthly bill. This reflects a decrease in cost of service and tax savings on the Gas System Reliability Surcharge. The agreement also calls for a one-year credit of $6.86 to repay customers, with interest, for the extra tax paid the first three months of 2018.

Black Hills residential customers will receive an average credit of $11.57 annually. The first credit will appear on April bills. Each year thereafter, the credit will appear on January bills. The credit reflects savings on cost of service and the purchase and transmission of gas. In addition, customers will receive a one-time credit of 24 cents per meter in April and monthly GSRS rates will drop 8 cents per month.

Commission staff evaluated the tax savings on a case-by-case basis to determine the impact on each company’s rates and ensure that Kansas customers receive the credits owed them. The commission opened a general investigation on Jan. 18 requiring utilities under its jurisdiction to track savings resulting from the federal tax cut and maintain those funds in a separate interest bearing regulatory account. The orders approved today can be viewed on the commission’s website:

Atmos - http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx/20180327103310.pdf?Id=61aa21a5-3b4f-42c1-8d93-75214ba90d36

Black Hills - http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx/20180327104002.pdf?Id=f3d71fc3-c952-4720-97dd-383b2834d9b7