RICHMOND, VA — The 2023 General Assembly session marks substantial progress towards a fairer and more affordable energy system in Virginia. The unanimous passage of the Affordable Energy Act (SB1321/HB1604) restores critical oversight powers to the State Corporation Commission (SCC), enabling the agency to set fair electric rates and protect Virginians from monopoly utility overcharges. Alongside this bill, a diverse coalition of legislators, businesses and ratepayer advocates worked with the Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin to overhaul utility-sponsored legislation (SB1265/HB1770), negotiating a major win for consumers.
“The passage of the Affordable Energy Act and the Governor’s leadership on rate reform legislation represents a watershed moment for Virginia,” said Michael Bills, Clean Virginia’s Board Chair and Founder. “For the first time, a bipartisan coalition of legislators and the Governor have successfully stood up against the legalized corruption of our monopoly utilities, putting an end to decades of profiteering at the expense of Virginia families and businesses.”
“For far too long, Dominion Energy has wielded its political influence and contributions to write the rules of its own regulation. This year’s legislative session has shown definitively that this era of self-regulation has come to an end,” added Brennan Gilmore, Clean Virginia’s Executive Director.
Legislators from both parties worked to shift power from electric utility monopolies to state regulators and Virginia energy customers by:
“The progress made this legislative session will help Virginia families and small businesses,” stated Gilmore. “Each year more legislators join the movement to end undue utility influence in the legislature, refusing contributions from Dominion Energy and insisting that public interest, and not utility profit, be the driving force behind Virginia’s energy policy. We look forward to continuing to work to ensure the clean energy transition is affordable and equitable for every Virginian.”
Clean Virginia is a 501(c)4 independent advocacy organization with an associated Political Action Committee, Clean Virginia Fund. Clean Virginia works to fight corruption in Virginia politics in order to promote clean energy, a robust, competitive economy, and community control over our energy policy. We are motivated by the core belief that our democracy should serve everyday Virginians over special interests.