The FCC has been forced to slash its power bill to $50.5 billion from its original $73.4 billion figure because of new requirements for power generation.
The agency announced on Wednesday that the power bills for the first half of 2018 were $6.5 trillion, down from the $6 trillion the FCC had forecast at the beginning of the year.
This means the power bill for the period from January 1 through March 31, 2019, will be $8.7 trillion.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is urging the public to be patient and understand the new power costs.
“The Commission’s revised projections show that the cost of providing the nation’s electric grid to support the electric generation needed to support today’s demands will remain low for many years to come,” Pai wrote in a memo to staff on Thursday.
“As a result, we have determined that the Commission’s cost-saving initiatives are sufficient to ensure that the Nation’s electric generation system will provide reliability for decades to come.”
Power costs will be significantly reduced in the first year of the mandate because of lower transmission costs, which will also offset some of the loss in revenue.
Pai also noted that utilities will be able to lower their prices for electricity to reflect the cost reduction, which could save $2.5 to $3.5 per megawatt-hour (MWh).
The proposed rate cuts are part of the commission’s effort to bring down electricity costs.
But in the longer term, the new plan will also have an impact on how much the agency will have to pay to provide electricity to its customers.
At its peak, the FCC provided about half the power needed to meet electricity demand in the Northeast, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic states.
But because of the mandates, the agency was forced to scale back the size of the grid in the Midwest and the Southwest.
Under the new rules, the electric power grid will be smaller in the West and East.
The power grid in both regions will need to provide more energy than it currently does.