Rates 101

Rates are set to recover the cost of bringing electricity to you and to support projects that will meet the ever-growing demand for more energy.

Our video on the right explains how it works.

Factors like rate class, energy use, fuel costs, and the season all play a role in determining the rate you pay.

These are explained in more detail below.

Calculating Your Rate

Demand Has Steadily Increased

We like new products. Many of the new technologies we enjoy — and consider must-have parts of our daily lives — rely on electricity to operate. As illustrated below, technological advances have resulted in a growing demand for electricity. Since Dominion Virginia Power’s last rate increase in 1992, the typical homeowner has increased electricity use by 8.6 percent.

A large-screen television, for example, uses five times as much power as older models. Home electronics now account for 11 to 13 percent of consumer energy use and are projected to account for 18 percent by 2015, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Demand Has Steadily Increased

A Closer Look

Rates, Tariffs and Riders

Rate Schedules and Special Tariffs detail the rate or charge for a particular classification of service, including all special terms and conditions under which that service is furnished at the prescribed rate or charge. When you accept electric service from Dominion Virginia Power, you agree to certain requirements specified in the application for electric service, and you're bound by the applicable rate schedule(s) and Terms and Conditions which are currently on file with the State Corporation Commission.

Riders are charges applied to certain rate schedules to recover various costs associated with Dominion's electric operations and electricity production. For example, Fuel Charge Rider A applies to a number of filed rate schedules as well as applicable energy charges specified in any special rates, contracts or incentives approved by the SCC, and it increases the price of electricity by a specified amount per kilowatthour (in this example, a few cents).

Adding Up The Costs

To calculate how much to charge you, we examine how much energy you use during a billing period based on readings from your electric meter (in kWh). Next, we calculate the total using your applicable rate schedule, special tariffs and/or riders, plus surcharges and taxes. (Of course, the less energy you use, the lower your bill, so visit our Energy Conservation section for tips on saving energy.)

What's In Your Bill

When you look at a typical resident electric bill from Dominion Virginia Power, you will see a detailed summary of everything that is included in the total. (View a sample bill.)

For example, you'll see a charge for the "Distribution Service," which covers the use of local wires, transformers, substations and other equipment used to deliver electricity to your home or business.

You'll also see "Electricity Supply Service" charges for the generation and transmission of electricity, including fuel. This is divided into three sections: Generation - Charges for the production of electricity from Dominion's power plants; Transmission - Charges for moving electricity from Dominion’s power plants to substations; and Fuel - Charges associated with the cost for fuel used to produce electricity, including transportation.

There also is a Sale and Use Surcharge, State/Local Consumption Tax, and a Utility Tax in your total charges.

Bill Components

Frequently Asked Questions

We offer several pages to explore if you need some answers about rates, bills and other aspects of your service. You can also use our search tool to locate information.

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