Amid global energy price spikes, Dominion customers’ bills could rise between 12 and 20 percent
Dominion customers could see their monthly bills rise by between 12 and 20 percent due to rising fuel costs linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to company filings with the State Corporation Commission Thursday.
The electric utility, Virginia’s largest, is asking state regulators to approve an increase in its fuel factor, the rate levied on customers to cover the costs of purchasing fuel for power plants.
Depending on whether the SCC opts to spread the costs over one, two or three years — all options Dominion has outlined in its application, noting a preference for the three-year paydown — the fuel hikes could increase the average residential customer’s monthly bill by $24.12, $17.23 or $14.93, respectively.
“We know it’s a difficult ask,” said Dominion spokesperson Craig Carper. “Our focus has been on how do we make this the lowest number possible?”
Dominion, which serves about five million Virginia residents, says it aims to reduce the cost impact not only by spreading the increase out over three years but through decreases to two separate riders, and additional charges that are added to customer bills.
First, the utility is asking the SCC to approve a decrease in a transmission-related rider that the company says would lead to a $3.69 decline in the monthly bill for the average residential customer, defined as a household that uses 1,000-kilowatt hours a month. Scott Gaskill, Dominion’s general manager of regulatory affairs, said in an email that the reduction was due to PJM-related transmission costs being less than expected in 2021.
Second, Dominion is asking regulators to suspend a charge for its participation in a regional carbon market and to fold the remaining costs into the base rate, reducing the monthly residential bill by an additional $2.39.
The Virginia Mercury is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.
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