Minnesota electric and gas utilities expect to save tens of millions of dollars under the tax plan President Trump signed into law last year.
Investor-owned utilities like Xcel Energy pay a lower corporate tax rate under the new law. But because electric utilities are regulated monopolies, how that tax savings is spent is also regulated.
Xcel says it expects the federal tax law will save the company $141 million, according to documents filed last week with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. For Minnesota Power, it's nearly $24 million and for Otter Tail Power it's $5 million.
Each of the utilities acknowledge that customers should benefit from those savings, but it could be awhile before we know what that looks like.
Some lawmakers want refund checks to be sent out to customers, but it's also possible customers would see savings in less direct ways, like smaller future rate hikes.
"We recognize that refunds appear to be a simple and effective solution, but we also believe there are opportunities to deliver the same value to customers in different ways," reads a filing from Xcel.