Dominion Energy is proposing a rate hike, which would increase utility costs for Virginia homes and businesses. The company has submitted several proposals to the state that it says will help offset the rising cost of fuel.
Walton Shepherd, policy director of Virginia’s climate and clean energy program for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the plans won’t solve Dominion’s underlying problem, which stems from years of plant investment. gas and fossil fuel infrastructure.
“There are a lot of resources that have zero fuel costs, like solar, wind, battery storage that we could have invested in,” Shepherd said.
Dominion proposed rates of increase over a period of one, two or three years. The company indicated that it would prefer the three-year route, which would result in the lowest monthly increase for subscribers. Shepherd said if state regulators approve separate rate revisions, the three-year trajectory could increase energy bills by about $11 per month for a home using 1,100 kilowatt hours per month.
According to Dominion, with the rate revisions included, the average home’s energy costs would increase by about 7%. But Shepherd countered that it would increase some of the highest energy bills in the South, from Virginia to Texas.
“Federal data released last fall shows that we are paying the highest rates of all of these southern states except South Carolina and Alabama,” Shepherd pointed out.
Dominion has argued that it is steadily diversifying into clean energy, and The Associated Press reports that natural gas accounts for just under half of the company’s total energy mix.
Dominion’s proposed rate hike would take effect July 1 if approved by state regulators.
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