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Your gas bill will be cheaper thanks to a one-time refund

Many people have been keeping their thermostats low because of high gas bills. In the next month or two you will get a break with a one-time credit.

In June, you will see a one-time reduction in your Duke Energy gas bill of $133. The credit is the result of insurance money and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that more than covered environmental clean-up costs customers were originally going to have to pay.

“On one hand we have costs for the environmental cleanup, and on the other hand we have tax refunds," spokesperson for The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Matt Schilling says. "So, essentially what’s happening is all the tax refunds are essentially going to wash away all of those environmental cases and wipe them out and customers will not have to pay for them.”

The net for customers is $133.

Duke’s settlement with PUCO requires the $133 to be distributed within 60 days. Businesses will be credited over a 12-month period based on their monthly consumption.

As Schilling explains, the environmental clean-up involves two former Ohio River gas plants on either side of the Brent Spence Bridge.

The refunds for Duke are the result of several different things. Besides the insurance proceeds and TCJA savings, there are also PUCO staff adjustments to the utility’s remediation costs, eliminating about $85 million that would have been billed to consumers.

Even with the one-time tax credit to customers, $5 million is left over. Schilling says it will be distributed by Duke to seniors and gas customers in need as part of its regular assistance program.