Dominion requests would increase bills 6.9 percent

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Dominion Virginia Power is seeking a series of rate increases that would increase customers’ bills by about 6.9 percent over a period of 14 months.

Dominion’s request must be approved by the State Corporation Commission. The request would be the first base rate increase in 17 years. Customer bills were increased an average of 18 percent last year to cover increased fuel costs.

If all requests were approved, the average bill would increase $7.54 a month, from $108.73 to $116.27. The increases would gradually be implemented between July 2009 and May 2010. The increased bill will be offset by a decrease in the company’s fuel factor rate, which will lower the average customer’s bill by $3.64 per month.

The increases would be used for transmission projects, energy conservation projects, construction of the Bear Garden Power Station in Buckingham County and the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Southwest Virginia.

The company has also sought permission to increase its authorized rate of return on equity to 13.5 percent for the company. State law allows Dominion to seek a rate of return comparable to the other power companies in the Southeast.

Dominion’s rates would still be below average. Even after the increase, the company’s rates will still be 3.6 percent below the national average. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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