Dominion proposes $6/month decrease in residential power bills
Announcement comes after House passes legislation to save Dominion customers $10/month.
Dominion Energy Inc. announced Friday a proposed $6/month decrease in customers’ residential electric bills starting in May, pending approval from the State Corporation Commission.
The announcement comes after the House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Fair Energy Bills Act earlier this month, which would save customers about $10 a month on their power bills and give the SCC authority to direct Dominion to lower its rates and issue refunds if the commission decides it has overcharged customers. The bill is now with the state Senate’s Labor and Commerce Committee, although it was not listed on Monday morning’s docket as of Friday afternoon, which could be an indication that the act may die in the Senate.
Proponents of the Fair Energy Bills Act, including Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore, have emphasized Dominion’s overcharging of customers. The utility claimed excess profits of $277.3 million in 2018, the SCC reported last November.
Dominion asked the SCC last year that its rate of return on equity be set at 10.75%, up from 9.2%, which would allow the utility to invest more money into projects such as its offshore wind farm in Virginia Beach. The SCC rejected the request, maintaining the rate at 9.2%.
Dominion’s announcement Friday proposes that the fuel rate be reduced by an average of $5.89 per month, which would bring the average residential power bill down from $122.07 to $116.18, a 4.8% change. Industrial customers would see an overall rate reduction of about 10%, according to Dominion, which attributes the reduction to “the outstanding performance of our generation fleet in Virginia, particularly our combined cycle power stations,” which reduced carbon emissions.
The SCC must approve any change in energy prices, and, if approved, the Dominion proposal would take effect May 1.