Dominion energy keeps rates lower than average commentary postandcourier.com gas stations in texas

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Facts are often inconvenient things. So it’s disappointing the facts about Dominion Energy Virginia’s longtime record of offering stable and affordable rates for its 2.5 million electric customers in the Commonwealth of Virginia were totally overlooked in Tony Bartelme’s Jan. 6 Post and Courier story. To keep citizens properly informed, several points need to be emphasized about Dominion Energy Virginia’s electric rates:

• Over the past decade, the electric bill for a typical Dominion Energy Virginia customer — using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per month — has risen just 8 percent, from $107.20 in July 2008 to its current level of $115.74. That’s an annual rate of increase of only about 1 percent — a claim that most other goods and services in this economy cannot make. Factoring in the increase in the Consumer Price Index, the inflation-adjusted price of our power has dropped since 2008. And residential rates are actually lower than they were two years ago. SCE&G’s current typical monthly residential bill is 27.5 percent higher than Dominion Energy Virginia’s.

• Measured against nationwide information on rates published by the Edison Electric Institute, Dominion Energy Virginia’s residential rates are well below regional and national averages. For example, the company’s typical residential bill is currently almost 15 percent below the national average for all investor-owned utilities and 22 percent below the average for all utilities in the East Coast states. Even in Virginia — a state known for its affordable electric prices — the company’s rates compare favorably, with the current typical residential bill about 5 percent below the statewide average, based on information from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

• We have maintained this rate stability even as we have invested billions in making sure Virginia has reliable and secure supplies of electricity. This includes major new power stations totaling over 3,200 megawatts fueled by low-emissions natural gas; over 400 megawatts of new solar capacity; and the addition of up to $1 billion a year in projects to upgrade, strengthen and expand our transmission system — the network of high-voltage wires carrying electricity across our system.

• With limits on power station carbon dioxide emissions inevitable, we have acted prudently to review development of one additional reactor at our North Anna Power Station to serve our customers. However, we have done so without raising rates a single penny. All of the expenses we have recovered so far have been through our existing rates — with no price increases for any customers. And even though we believe we must keep this option open, we have made absolutely no commitment to build the project.

• Knowing our economy runs on affordable energy, we have also worked hard to ensure our industrial customers in Virginia have reliable and reasonably priced electricity. Our average industrial rate — 5.7 cents per kilowatt-hour — is lower than the statewide average rates for all of CNBC’s “Top Ten States for Business” in 2017. And our average industrial price has actually declined over the past decade. In July 2008, the average rate was 6.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.