Clean Virginia Chronicles the “Dominion Scam”: $2 Billion Dollars in Overcharges by Dominion Energy in the Past Decade

A groundbreaking new report details how the monopoly overcharged its Virginia customers by at least $2.3 billion in the past decade. “The Dominion Scam: How a Utility Monopoly Overcharged Virginians $2 Billion (And Got Away with It)” describes how Virginia’s dominant utility monopoly worked with allies in the General Assembly to pass a series of utility-friendly laws that allowed the company to overcharge Virginians by hundreds of millions of dollars each year beyond its authorized profit level.


As of 2018, the average Virginia household paid the 7th highest bills in the country, according to annual data from the Energy Information Administration. Customers in Dominion’s service territory paid $133.19 a month for electricity, which is more than 13% higher than the national average, and the electricity burden for Virginians—the percentage amount of household income that is spent on electricity costs—is considered to be unaffordable for over 75% of Virginia’s households. During this same period, Dominion averaged a total of $234 million in customer overcharges every year.

Clean Virginia marks 2007 as the beginning of the “Dominion Scam,” when a major rewrite of electric utility law in Virginia introduced Dominion-friendly regulations that constrained regulators’ historic power to set fair rates, inflating energy bills well beyond Dominion’s authorized profit level.

Three main components make up the “Dominion Scam”: 

  • Rate Adjustment Clauses — Additional fees for infrastructure projects added to bills on top of the base rate, which makes up approximately 60% of a customer’s electricity bill.
  • Peer Group AnalysisArbitrary criterion for Dominion’s authorized profit level based on returns of utilities operating outside of Virginia’s unique environment. 
  • Refund CeilingA cap on how much Dominion has to refund customers when it overcharges.