Eversource Energy (stock price $62.51, up 13 percent from a year ago) is celebrating what it calls a “$56 million windfall” for ratepayers in Massachusetts. Lucky us.
The source of this windfall? The reduction in corporate tax rates that was a centerpiece of the tax bill passed by Congress last month. That reduction is prompting Eversource to reverse the rate increase it recently won from the state’s Department of Public Utilities (over the objections of Attorney General Healey’s office, which argued that any corporation wealthy enough to pay $800 million in cash to acquire a water company probably does not need a rate hike in the first place).
But wait, there’s more! Eversource is also saying it may seek additional rate reductions, after it crunches some numbers concerning its excess deferred taxes.
Leading the cheers for Eversource is the state’s biggest trade group, Associated Industries of Massachusetts: “tax reform created a tremendous opportunity to provide rate relief to customers and Eversource deserves credit for moving rapidly to realize that opportunity.”
No word, of course, on whether Eversource intends to continue to go to bat for its customers by opposing the cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other anti-poverty programs that the authors of federal tax reform are promising for 2018.