RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In September of 2009, Dominion filed a request with the State Corporation Commission for a base rate increase.
"Staff did its full audit and found that perhaps existing rates were just fine," said Ken Schrad with the SCC.
In the meantime, Dominion had begun charging customers at the higher rate it had requested. In a settlement with the SCC, reached in March, Dominion agreed to roll that increase back.
"So that money that was collected over an 8-month period of time is coming back to customers in the form of refunds plus interest," said Schrad.
That means a possible pleasant surprise when you open your next bill. Some customers are already seeing it-- a base rate credit. It has even reduced some bills to zero.
In all, the average customer will see $153 in total bill reductions through 2012, including $80 in credits over the next nine months. In addition to the base rate credit, there are other terms of the settlement that could result in lower bills.
"There are future credits to come for other charges that the company is not going to apply to customers, plus there's rate stability," Schrad said.
While customers might not see a drastic drop in their bills after this month, the credits will continue to show up.
"In this economy, any credit is really appreciated," said Dominion Power customer Stephen Previtera.
Stephen is already seeing a difference in his bills, and he's not complaining.
"You're getting a benefit, and then you think to yourself, it's ok, they're giving us money, so why question it?" he said.
Dominion can't request another rate increase until December 2013.