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New Tax Law Impact on Power and Utility Industry - Empowering Digital Performance Optimization

ABB, Webinar, Webcast Experts, Flex and Carbon Flexibility


The president’s signing of H.R. 1, formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on December 22, 2017, brings forth a number of important considerations for the power and utility industry.  Notably, the new law provides reductions in both corporate tax rates and “dividend-received” deductions. Further, the law includes changes in accelerated depreciation and a repeal of the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).    For the power and utility industry, there are some decisions to make. This webinar discussion will address what the new tax savings could mean for the power industry, specifically what options are available, the implications on cash flow, and if the tax savings represent the opportunity to invest in capital expenditures to drive profitability and improve reliability and availability.

Digital performance optimization solutions, such as ABB AbilityTMPerformance Optimization and Condition Monitoring, offer an economic pathway for making the most out of the potentially improved cash positions derived from the new tax law.    These software vs. hardware solutions are in full recognition with industry trends toward IIoT, digital sensors, out-of-the-box connectivity, cloud-based systems, and the growth of distributed energy sources.  Adoption of digital performance optimization provides strong benefits such as fuel savings, decreased maintenance costs, and increased plant efficiencies.    

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During our webcast, ABB's Rich Vesel will join guest speakers Casey Herman, Robin Miller and Scott McCandless from PwC to discuss the key ramifications of tax reform on the power and utilities sector. 

Specific topics addressed will include:

  • New tax law provisions and how they impact the power and utility industry
  • Expected changes in tax positions and carryforwards
  • Utilization of available capital for infrastructure - software vs hardware expenditures
  • Digital solutions specific for the power industry
    • Operate – Expert support for loop tuning, alarm management, asset health
    • Maintain – Condition based and predictive maintenance
    • Upgrade – Load response, combustion efficiency, emissions abatement 

The webinar will bring current perspectives relating to the new tax law and investment pathways for the power and utility industries. 



Rich Vesel | Business Development Manager for Plant Performance and Optimization | ABB Inc.

Rich Vese, ABB

Rich Vesel has been with ABB over 22 years as a product developer and development manager, corporate research project manager, Business Development Manager for Plant Performance, Optimization and Condition Monitoring, and as Product Manager for Power Generation Energy Efficiency, as part of ABB Inc.’s Power Generation business unit.  Mr. Vesel has a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH/USA), and is a former Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio.  He holds seven US Patents in the areas of Internet Connectivity, Asset Monitoring and Optimization, Combustion Optimization, and Power Plant Electrification.  Mr. Vesel was Chairman of an IEEE Working Group on Power Generation Energy Efficiency, and a vice-chair of the parent subcommittee.

As part of his recent activities, he was a contributor to, and chief editor of, ABB’s handbook “Power Generation: Energy Efficient Design of Auxiliary Systems in Fossil-Fuel Power Plants”, a 360 page comprehensive look at ways to improve the efficiency of the major on-site consumers of power within a generating station. 


Michael (Casey) Herman | Assurance Partner and US Power & Utilities Leader | PwC

Michael (Casey) Herman, PwC

Casey Herman is an Assurance Partner and US Power & Utilities Leader for for PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Based in Chicago, he has over 30 years of industry experience serving power and utility companies in a variety of capacities, and he has provided testimony in various regulatory jurisdictions on a variety of accounting, rate making and affiliate transaction issues. Casey is a frequent speaker at industry events for organizations such as the Edison Electric Institute and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He has served as Lead Engagement Partner for the audits of several significant public companies including Exelon Corporation, American Electric Power, and Entergy Corporation.  Casey has a Bachelor of Science in Management (BSM) from Tulane University, and he is a Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Robin Miller | US Power & Utilities Tax Leader | PwC

Robin Miller

Robin Miller is the US Power & Utilities Tax Leader for PwC and is a Tax Partner in the firm's Chicago office. She brings 25 years of experience in providing tax advisory services to capital intensive, multinational, publicly held clients.  Robin regularly advises clients on tax issues impacting their businesses, including those related to the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  She has a B.A. and a Master of Science in Taxation from the University of Illinois and is a Member of the American Institute of Certificated Public Accountants.


Scott McCandless | Principal, Tax Policy Services (TPS) |  PwC

Scott McCandless

Scott McCandless is a principal in PwC’s Tax Policy Services (TPS) within the Washington National Tax Services practice.   He provides strategic advice on legislative and regulatory policy issues.  Prior to re-joining PwC in 2014, Scott served as Tax Counsel to U.S House Ways & Means Committee Member Congressman Tim Griffin, and Senate Finance Committee Member Senator Olympia Snowe.  Prior to joining Senator Snowe, Scott was a director in PwC’s Washington National Tax Services practice.  In that role, he provided strategic advice to PwC’s for domestic and international clients on a broad spectrum of issues including taxation and international trade, with a focus on energy tax policy. Scott is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and he began his career as a Law Clerk to the Honorable R. Kenton Musgrave at the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York.