Northam pushes for overdue electric bill forgiveness

Northam pushes for overdue electric bill forgiveness
FILE - In this June 4, 2020, file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Va. Virginia has rolled out a smartphone app to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. It's the first U.S. state to use new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google. The Covidwise app was available on the tech giants’ app stores Wednesday, Aug. 5, ahead of an expected announcement from Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. (Source: AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants Dominion Energy to forgive unpaid residential electric bills by taking $320 million that regulators say the company previously overcharged.

The governor is pushing for new budget language requiring the state’s largest electric monopoly to return most of the $503 million that state regulators recently said Dominion had earned above authorized levels in 2017 through 2019.

That provision is part of a broader effort by Northam to ban customer disconnections over unpaid utility bills during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dominion declined to comment.

Under the plan, customers with bills that are more than 60 days overdue as of Sept. 30 would have them forgiven.

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