Dominion Energy Ohio warns customers not to provide banking or other personal information to scammers who claim such data is required to receive a new federal tax cut credit. The company reminds customers they will begin receiving those credits automatically, beginning in April 2020, in their monthly bills.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved a settlement negotiated among Dominion Energy, the Commission and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, which, among other elements, will pass through a $50.9 million credit to customers over a 12-month period.
Dominion Energy has received reports this week of people purporting to work for the company telephoning customers and demanding they provide banking account and other personal information in order to receive the credits. Neither state regulators nor utilities, such as Dominion Energy Ohio, will ever contact a customer by phone or ask for personal financial information to receive a bill credit of any type, regardless of the circumstances.
What to do if you think you have received a scam phone call:
- Don’t provide any identifying information such as your social security, bank account, credit or debit card numbers.
- Hang up.
- Report suspicious calls, texts and email to Dominion Energy and local authorities. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.
New Rate Mechanism Incorporates Lower Federal Income Tax Rate: The PUCO- approved settlement provides a rate mechanism that will enable allow Dominion to pass along the benefits of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to customers. The major provision of that Act was the reduction of the federal income tax rate for corporations from 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018.
Before the new rate mechanism was approved, Dominion had continued charging customers under the former Commission-authorized rate, which incorporated the former federal corporate income tax rate. There were no overcharges.
Under the settlement, Dominion Energy will credit customers the difference between rates calculated with former and current corporate income tax rates, plus interest, over a 12-month period.
In addition to the federal income tax credit there are additional dollars related to taxes on plant investments that will be passed back to the customer through rider reductions over a 38-year period and DEO has agreed to pass back an additional $24.5 million over a 6-year period.
The average residential customer will begin receiving monthly reductions to their bill beginning in April 2020:
- First year – approximately $5.80 per month
- Years two through six – approximately $3.15 per month
- Year seven and beyond – Residential customers will see a reduction of about $1.55 per month