DTE Energy, Consumers customers will see lower bills due to Trump's tax reform

Big companies like Walmart, Comcast and Fifth Third Bank are doling out bonuses to employees on the heels of President Trump's tax reform. Even if your boss isn't writing bonus checks, you could still see some extra cash. 

DTE Energy announced customers can expect to save money on their electric and gas bills as a result of the tax reform. They say bills are expected to go down by roughly three percent. 

DTE says Trump's 40 percent tax cut for their business means $200 million for them.

"Tthat's a lot of money that's going back to our customers and a big infusion into the State of Michigan," says David Meador, vice chair at DTE. 

Consumers Energy officials told FOX 2 they're banking on big savings, too. While the amount varies depending on the customer, they say their consumers can anticipate similar savings. 

"Three percent is not a lot but it's what most people's raises might be for a year," says John Taylor, who is with Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business. He explains it's not goodwill along, but the law requires companies that get breaks to give back. 

"They are regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission, and they have to justify their rates. Rates are based on the cost. When costs go down because they have a tax cut, they are obligated to pass that reduction and cost on in lower rates to the Michigan consumers," he explains.

Consumers are thrilled. A three percent cut off an $80 bill is $2.40. It adds up.  

But don't expect to see the savings just yet. 

The utility companies just turned in their paperwork to the state proposing the cuts. The Michigan Public Service Commission will determine whether it's fair. If they approve it, we’ll see the cuts later on. 

"The electric customers will see the reduction this spring and gas customers later on this year," says Meador. "But the good news, it's retroactive so it all go back to January 1 of 2018. Eventually you'll get 100 percent of the dollars."