FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cassady Craighill, Clean Virginia Communications and Advocacy Director
October 22, 2021
Lawmakers weigh in on Dominion Energy rate case settlement in public testimony
$330 million customer refund “great first step,” but more reform needed to control costs
Richmond — During public testimony today, multiple legislators applauded Virginia’s utility regulator, the State Corporation Commission (SCC), and the agency’s proposed settlement with Dominion Energy and the Office of the Attorney General. This settlement is the latest development in Dominion Energy’s rate case, the first time in six years that regulators can examine the monopoly’s earnings and what customers pay for electricity. Senator John Bell (D-Loudon), Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk), Delegate Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville), and Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D-Loudon) all pointed out that the settlement’s $330 million customer refund and $50 million rate decrease are victories for customers, but only represent the maximum amount permitted by law and that more reform is needed to grant reasonable electricity rates.
“Though we still have a long way to go to achieve fair utility practices in Virginia, a refund of $330 million for ratepayers is a great first step,” said Del. Subramanyam who passed a 2020 law that restored key decision-making authority to the SCC, unlocking the ability for regulators to grant any customer refunds during Dominion’s 2021 rate case.
“The passage of this legislation was a huge victory for ratepayers, and it was the result of many years of effort starting at the grassroots to hold our regulated utilities accountable,” Del. Subramanyam said in his rate case testimony.
Dominion Energy has overcharged customers by over $1.1 billion, according to SCC staff, but due to utility-friendly state laws, customers will only receive a fraction of these overcharges back as refunds and future rates cannot be lowered by more than $50 million, despite the SCC’s calculation that customers are due for a $212 million rate cut.
“The General Assembly must commit to fixing this broken system once and for all so that regulators have the authority required to do their jobs and set reasonable prices for electricity in Virginia,” said Clean Virginia Political and Legislative Director Lizzie Hylton. “Virginians cannot afford Dominion Energy’s chronic manipulation of regulation in its favor any longer.”