Industries Energy/Green

SCC approves electricity efficiency programs

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Dominion Virginia Power has received approval from State Corporation Commission (SCC) for several programs designed to reduce electricity usage by customers.

The SCC approved a five-year residential bundle program that includes:

• Residential home energy check-up program
• Residential duct testing and sealing program
• Residential heat pump tune-up program
• Residential heat pump upgrade program
The SCC capped the a total cost of the residential bundle program at $90 million over five years.

The commission also approved a five-year commercial bundle program that includes:
• Commercial energy audit program
• Commercial duct testing and sealing program

The total cost cap for the commercial bundle program is $45 million for the five-year period.

To protect customers, the SCC imposed the caps on the total amount that could be billed to customers for the costs of the efficiency programs, including any resulting lost revenues to the company. Under Virginia law, a utility company is allowed to charge its customers both for the implementation costs of efficiency programs and for revenues it does not receive when customers reduce their energy usage as a result of such programs.

In its order, the SCC stated, “…the evidence indicates that the costs associated with lost revenues could constitute more than half of the total costs to customers of these programs.” The SCC found that the potential bill increases resulting from these programs is relevant to its determination of the public interest and therefore established the total cost caps for the programs.

The SCC approved a commercial distributed generation program as a peak-shaving program rather than an energy efficiency program.
In addition, the SCC approved cost recovery for a previously allowed electric vehicle pilot program.

The Commission rejected the continuation and expansion of the residential lighting program, a rebate program for the purchase of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). The SCC determined that there is significant information available to the public regarding the potential energy savings benefits of CFL bulbs without a ratepayer-subsidized program through the utility.

The SCC also rejected a commercial refrigeration program, stating that the company had not established its cost effectiveness.


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