Dominion Energy customers may see refund from comprehensive settlement

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Your Dominion Energy bill could look a bit different going forward.

Virginia’s largest electric utility has reached a settlement agreement with regulators and other parties in an ongoing rate case that, if approved, would provide one-time refunds to customers and a rate reduction going forward.

The Southern Environmental Law Center is wanting Dominion Energy to refund money to customers. It says people have been overcharged, so now the goal is to reduce rates and save energy.

“This is the first step of hopefully many steps to making sure that Virginia energy policy looks out for the customer as we go through that transition,” said Will Cleveland, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center.

This is the first case since 2015, where the the State Corporation Commission has had the ability to review Dominion Energy’s revenues and compare them to their authorized costs and profit levels.

“The first thing it’s going to do is it’s going to reduce everybody’s energy prices,” Cleveland said. “The next step is to build upon this momentum and continue to work to make sure that the regulatory structure in place in Virginia looks out for the customer.”

The goal is to resolve the ongoing rate case in order to benefit everyone.

“This impacts everybody who lives in Dominion’s territory,” Cleveland said. “This is exactly how much the customers are going to have to pay for their electricity going forward, and it hits everybody in their pocketbooks.”

This money will hit as credit in your Dominion account.

“Over the course of three years, it’ll amount to about $67,” Dominion Energy Spokesperson Rayhan Daudani said. “And most of that actually comes in the first six months of 2022. This is all pending State Corporation Commission approval.”

That is for the average user. Rates will also slightly decrease on future bills.

“It will vary customer by customer, depending on how much energy you use, how much you paid previously,” Duadani said.

Dominion says they know customers want their energy to come from renewable sources, while still being affordable and effective.

“We feel like this agreement does all three of those things,” Duadani said. “They’ll see the rate reduction. They’ll see credits on their bills. But it also enables Dominion Energy to continue investments in solar energy and offshore wind and energy storage.

The settlement still has to be approved, but if it is, you will probably start seeing the rebates in January.

“The amount the prices that we pay for electricity are going to be critical to ensuring that we truly achieve these clean energy goals,” Cleveland said.

There will be a public hearing Friday where people will have a chance to share their thoughts on the issues. It is scheduled for 10am as of now, and those who want to register to speak can go to Virginia SCC - Public Witness Form. There will be a virtual option, and the SCC will call you on the day of the hearing for your statement.

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