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Utility regulation will be on the agenda for state lawmakers next month

Mallory Noe-Payne
Radio IQ

Members of the General Assembly will be returning to the Capitol April 12th to consider amendments from the governor. Some of the amendments might influence your power bill.

When lawmakers arrived in Richmond back in January, they were confronted with a bill introduced by the leader of the House Republicans and the leader of the Senate Democrats. The bill would allow Dominion Energy to make more money, but Harry Godfrey at Advanced Energy United says the utility got only part of what it was looking for.

"Dominion got an increase in their return on equity — i.e. the margin they can earn on capital investments — just for the next couple of years," Godfrey says. "They were really looking to code that into the law permanently, and have it be a higher return. So, they got a very limited amount of that, only for a finite period of time."

Plus, more frequent reviews of the rates the utility is charging and the profits it’s making. Connor Kish at the Sierra Club says the bill now under consideration restores authority to the State Corporation Commission.

"So, the regulators are going to have the chance to regulate again," Kish explains. "And that is a net benefit for the customer because the State Corporation Commission will begin to review Dominion in a more holistic way."

Governor Glenn Youngkin added some technical amendments that lawmakers will consider when they meet for their spring session on April 12th.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.