Virginia Electric Rates Update

SCC orders refunds

Most Dominion Virginia Power customers will begin receiving refunds in January as a result of an order by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) Nov. 23. The SCC said the total refund for a typical residential customer will be about $4 to $5.

The refunds will come in the form of a credit on customers’ electric bills starting with the billing cycle that begins Jan. 22, 2016. The credits will occur in six equal installments over a six-month period. So, for example, if a customer has a $4 credit coming, the customer would see a 0.66 cent credit on the monthly bill for six months.

The actual amount of the refund will depend on the individual customer’s usage. Customers using much larger amounts of power, such as business and industrial customers, will receive a larger credit.

The refunds apply to customers who received service from the company in 2013-2014. Customers who have since moved out of the company’s service area will still be eligible for a refund.

The commission ordered the $19.7-million refund as a result of its findings in the company’s 2015 Biennial Review base rate case covering the years 2013-14. The company said it did not agree with the ruling but would issue the credits as directed by the SCC.

The company’s base rates, which comprise about 60 percent of a typical residential bill, have not increased since 1992. Base rates cover the cost of system maintenance, storm repair, employee salaries and other routine expenses. Other parts of the bill have gone up. Since 2008, the company’s total bill has increased at a rate of under 1 percent per year.

Virginia is the only state in the nation that requires a company to make a biennial rate filing when it is not seeking a change in rates.

Investments in Virginia 2008-2015

New State Legislation Stabilizes Rates for Customers

New legislation enacted during the 2015 General Assembly will stabilize rates and establish a five-year transition period. View the "New State Legislation" tab below.

2015 Fuel Factor Filing

The files below relate to Dominion Virginia Power's application to the Virginia State Corporate Commission to revise its fuel factor, effective April 1, 2015 (case no. PUE-2015-00022).

Use the links below for previous rate adjustment updates, comparison charts and other information. If you do not find what you need, e-mail us or call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

New legislation enacted during the 2015 General Assembly will stabilize rates and establish a five-year transition period to give the Commonwealth and its utilities time to develop appropriate strategies for complying with proposed federal carbon emission regulations.

Eight good things come from the bill.

  1. It cuts rates – right away. If the State Corporation Commission (SCC) agrees to Dominion’s requests, residential rates will be about 5.5 percent lower in April 2015.
  2. It requires the utility to forgo collecting $85 million in fuel costs from the very cold weather in winter 2014.
  3. It freezes the majority of the bill (base rates) for five years.
  4. It requires the utility, not customers, to bear the risk of all weather events and natural disasters over the next five years.
  5. It protects customers from potential price spikes related to federal mandates to reduce carbon emissions.
  6. It establishes a pilot energy assistance program funded by the utility, not customers, for low-income, elderly and disabled customers.
  7. It declares up to 500 MW of utility scale solar, the most cost effective kind for customers, in the public interest.
  8. It requires SCC approval of any plant retirement and reinforces the SCC’s ability to audit the company’s financial records at any time.

Dominion is supportive of policies and programs that will achieve meaningful carbon emission reductions and environmental benefits. At the same time, we must maintain electric reliability, minimize effects on customer rates, and recognize and appropriately account for measures states and affected entities have already undertaken to reduce carbon emissions. This new law will give Virginia a runway to thoughtfully and carefully comply, all the while staying focused on keeping costs low for customers and maintaining excellent reliability our customers expect.

For more information, view Dominion’s news release from November 26, 2014.

Residential bills to increase Sept. 1 by 3.5 percent

Dominion Virginia Power residential customers will see a 3.5 percent increase in their bill starting Sept. 1, 2015, as a result of increased spending by the company to ensure reliable and secure service for the commonwealth’s homes and businesses. The rate increase has been approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC).

The adjustment will raise the typical monthly residential bill for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of service from $109.40 to $113.24, an increase of $3.81. Dominion Virginia Power initially proposed spreading the increase over two years to reduce its impact on customers but the request was not approved by the SCC.

The increase is reflected mainly in the portion of your bill covering the costs of Dominion’s electric transmission system, the network of high-voltage lines that carry electricity, often over long distances, from power stations to local communities. As our customers’ demand for electricity grows, the expansion and modernization of this system is a very high priority for us. Also, our company must comply with strict federal standards to maintain the reliability of the grid, including protecting its physical security. To meet these requirements, our investment in the transmission system has grown substantially in recent years.

Even with the increase, the company’s electric rates remain well below national and regional averages, as the chart below demonstrates. The typical bill for a Dominion residential customer has risen only about 5.6 percent -- well below the rate of inflation – since July 2008, even though the company has invested in new power stations, transmission lines and other electric infrastructure to enhance reliability and serve hundreds of thousands of new customers.

No increase can take place in the company’s rates without review and approval by the SCC.

The company’s base rates, which primarily pay for normal operating expenses such as maintenance, storm repair and employee salaries, are frozen and will remain so through 2019. They comprise about 60 percent of a typical residential bill.

Expenses for fuel for the company’s power stations fluctuate with national and international fuel markets. The company makes no profit on the fuel charge, which is listed separately on your bill. Lower-than-anticipated fuel costs are refunded to customers. Lower fuel prices enabled the company to reduce its residential rates by more than 5 percent in April 2015.

Charges for new construction such as power stations and transmission lines are covered under rate adjustment clauses called "riders," and are subject to increase after SCC review as the company’s expenses increase.

Residential Rate Comparison

Dominion Virginia Power Receives SCC Approval to Reduce Monthly Electric Bills in April

A typical Dominion Virginia Power residential customer can expect to see an overall reduction of 5.5 percent in electric rates beginning in April.

The bulk of the reduction stems from the new state law, Senate Bill 1349, that gives consumers the benefits of lower fuel costs immediately and protects them from potential price spikes related to federal mandates to reduce carbon emissions. In the fuel filing made on Feb. 27, 2015, Dominion asked the Virginia State Corporation Commission to approve a reduction related to fuel costs beginning April 1 rather than waiting until July 1. The SCC issued an order on March 12, 2015, granting Dominion's request on an interim basis (Case No. PUE-2015-00022). This will result in a $6.12 per month reduction in the typical residential bill for a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of power. Commercial and industrial customers could realize a savings of about 7 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Also scheduled to take effect April 1 is an additional decrease of 28 cents to a typical monthly residential bill that reflects reductions in generation construction costs associated with the Bear Garden and Warren County power stations, Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center and the conversion of three former coal plants to biomass. These reductions are related to filings made last year. With these additional reductions, the typical residential monthly bill would decline a total of 5.5 percent from $115.95 per month to $109.55 per month, making rates 18.8 percent below the national average of $134.90. (> View our news release for additional details.)

Update: On March 26, 2015, the State Corporation Commission issued orders in five cases involving rate reviews and changes requested by Dominion Virginia Power. All of the rate adjustments were placed into effect on April 1, 2015. The combined impact decreased the average monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity by $6.47, from $115.95 to $109.48. (> View the SCC news release for details.)

Dominion Virginia Power bills going up slightly to pay for new energy efficient power station

Dec. 20, 2014 – A typical residential electric bill went up a little under 1 percent starting today as part of Dominion Virginia Power’s continuing effort to build new infrastructure to meet its customers’ growing energy needs.

The slight upward adjustment was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission to take effect once the new Warren County Power Station officially began operation. The station entered commercial operation Dec. 10.

The 1,329-megawatt power station is located just north of Front Royal, Va. Powered by economical, clean burning natural gas and using energy-efficient combined cycle technology, it can produce enough electricity to power about 325,000 homes at peak demand.

With the latest adjustment, the typical residential monthly bill will rise from $115.12 to $115.95 starting in January, 2015, the first full month the new rate is in effect. That is an increase of $.83 cents per month, or about .7 percent.

Dominion Virginia Power’s electric rates remain extremely competitive: 14 percent below the national residential average and 21 percent below the East Coast residential average. The averages are based on information reported by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). (View a rate comparison chart.)

Residential electric bills increase 2.4 percent

Sept. 1, 2014 -Typical residential electric bill went up about 2.4 percent starting today to cover the cost of new transmission and generation facilities designed to maintain strong electric reliability for the company’s 2.4 million customers.

The increase results from adjustments to two special rate adjustment clauses, or riders, approved by the State Corporation Commission. One supports expansion and improvement of the company’s electric transmission system. The second will help pay for the new Brunswick County Power Station, a natural gas-powered facility capable of generating 1,360 megawatts of electricity – enough to supply the needs of approximately 340,000 homes.

The new power station is expected to begin service during the summer of 2016. For more information, view this video:

The effect of the two riders was slightly higher for commercial and industrial customers. The typical commercial bill, measured using EEI standards for such “typical” bills, will increase 3.5 percent. The typical industrial bill, again measured by EEI standards, will increase 3.6 percent.

New Dominion Virginia Power Fuel Rate Goes Into Effect

July 1, 2014 – A new interim fuel rate took effect today subject to review and approval by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). The new rate would raise the bill of a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month by 4.1 percent.

The increase was requested by the company May 2 because the cost of many power station fuels rose sharply after this winter’s extreme cold, caused by the so-called "polar vortex." Increases for large commercial and industrial customers could be higher because proportionately larger portions of their bills are related fuel expenses.

The company also on May 2 requested a slight increase for transmission costs which would take effect Sept. 1 if approved.

Even with the proposed increases, the company’s electric rates will remain below state, regional and national averages.

In May and June, Dominion asked the SCC for permission to change several riders that cover the cost of new generation projects.  If approved, the net effect for a typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month would be a decrease of 28 cents on their monthly bill, effective April 2014.

Riders are special rate adjustment clauses designed to pay for specific generation, transmission or energy efficiency projects.  Those recently filed include four power station projects, including Warren County, Bear Garden, Virginia City and the conversion of three smaller coal stations to biomass fuel.

The SCC is not expected to rule on these requests until the first quarter of 2015. A ruling on the fuel case is expected later this year.

Dominion Virginia Power Rates Decline Slightly

April 1, 2014 - Dominion Virginia Power’s electric rates went down by 33 cents a month for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours. It was the third consecutive decrease since December 1, 2013. At $107.90 per month, company’s rates are 16 percent below national average, 22 percent below the East Coast average and 8 percent below the state average.

Dominion’s electric rates declined Dec. 1 when the company reduced its fuel charge by $3.70 a month for a typical residential customer. On Feb. 1, that same customer’s bill was reduced by 12 cents a month to reflect savings from three discontinued conservation programs.

The most recent decrease resulted from slight changes to four rate adjustment clauses, called riders, that netted out to a 33-cent reduction. The riders support construction of new power stations to help meet customers’ growing demand for electricity.

Despite major investments in new electric infrastructure, Dominion Virginia Power’s electric rates have remained remarkably stable over the past six years even as the Consumer Price Index has marched slowly but steadily upward. The CPI has climbed about 7 percent since July 2008, while DVP’s rates have increased less than 1 percent over the same period.

Many other goods and services have far outpaced the CPI:

  • Water and sewer service up 38 percent
  • College tuition and fees up 30 percent
  • Medical care up 18 percent
  • Garbage & trash collection up 15 percent

Two Small Rate Changes Further Lower Typical Bill

Feb. 1, 2014 - Two small rate changes have lowered the typical residential electricity bill by 12 cents a month. Both changes were approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

With these changes, effective Feb. 1, Dominion Virginia Power’s typical residential bill will be 7 percent below the Virginia average, 16 percent below the national average, 16 percent below the DC-Area average and 22 percent below the East Coast average. 

Dominion Request To Lower Fuel Rate Approved

Nov. 20, 2013 - The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved a request by Dominion Virginia Power to reduce its fuel rate to Virginia customers.

On Nov. 26, the SCC issued a final order in the 2011-12 biennial rate case. The company had not requested an increase in its base rates but those rates will be lowered slightly to reflect three discontinued demand-side management programs. The SCC calculated those savings at $7.9 million, or about $1.32 annually for a typical residential customer. (> For details, see the SCC news release.)

The new, lower fuel rate will reduce the bill of a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month by $3.70, from $112.05 to $108.35, or about 3.3 percent. Customers using larger amounts of electricity will see greater reductions.

The fuel change will take effect Dec. 1 and bring an estimated $140 million in customer savings.

The fuel charge pays for fuel the company uses in its power stations to produce electricity, including natural gas, coal and uranium. It is charged on a dollar-for-dollar pass through without any mark-up or profit to the company.

The company made the request to reduce the fuel rate on Oct. 15 based on lower commodity fuel prices and milder weather that reduced its projected fuel expenses. Dominion Virginia Power spends about $2 billion annually on fuel and related expenses for its Virginia customers.

With the change, Dominion’s overall electric rates will be at virtually the same level they were more than five years ago, despite major investments by the company in new power stations and electric grid infrastructure to increase reliability and meet growth.

Dominion Virginia Power Says It Will Not Seek Increase In Base Rates For At Least Next Two Years

March 28, 2013 - Dominion Virginia Power proposed holding its base rates unchanged for at least another two years despite encountering more than $450 million in costs in 2011 and 2012 related to major storms, an earthquake and other factors. (> View our news release for details.)

Base rates make up about 60 percent of a typical residential bill and cover the company's non-fuel operational costs, salaries and part of its earnings. This part of the bill can only be adjusted every two years and has not increased since 1992.

The total Dominion monthly bill for a typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours is now $107.22 -- only two cents higher than it was in July 2008. This same bill has gone up 25 percent since 1992, while fuel oil has increased 325 percent, gasoline 198 percent and the average national electricity rate 57 percent over the same period.

All changes in the company's electric rates must be approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The biennial filing made on March 28, which is required under state law, allows the SCC to review the company's base rates for 2011 and 2012.

View the Virginia Deferred Fuel Balances:

October 15, 2013: Dominion Virginia Power Seeks Lower Fuel Rate

March 28, 2013: Dominion Virginia Power Says It Will Not Seek Increase In Base Rates For At Least Next Two Years

May 17, 2012: Dominion Virginia Power Proposes New Rate to Encourage Solar Power in The Commonwealth

May 2, 2012: Monthly Bills Of Typical Dominion Virginia Power Customers Could Fall By 4 Percent By Sept. 1

Sept. 1, 2011: Dominion Virginia Power 15-Year Plan Targets Reliable, Cost-Effective Solutions for Growing Energy Needs

May 2, 2011: Dominion Virginia Power Seeks Approval of New Power Station, Transmission and Fuel Rates to Continue Reliable Service to Customers

Feb. 1, 2011: Dominion Virginia Power Proposes Rate Options for Charging of Electric Vehicles