Fair Energy Bills Act passes House of Delegates on strong bipartisan vote

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A 77-23 vote in the House of Delegates sends the Fair Energy Bills Act to the Virginia Senate.

The bill, introduced by Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, and Lee Ware, R-Powhatan, would restore the traditional regulatory authority of the State Corporation Commission by enabling the agency to examine Dominion Energy’s earnings, set its allowed profit level, and direct the monopoly to lower rates and issue refunds if the SCC deems it has overcharged customers.

The SCC estimates that Dominion customers could save nearly $10 a month on their electricity bills under the terms of the legislation, based on the amount Dominion Energy has overcharged customers in recent years.

“The House of Delegates passed a simple solution to the urgent crisis of rising electricity bills in Virginia — when Dominion Energy overcharges, regulators must have the power to refund customers, period,” Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore said. “Dominion Energy has overcharged Virginians a whopping $1.3 billion since 2015, and Virginians now pay the seventh highest electricity bills in the nation. If the General Assembly passes the Fair Energy Bills Act, the State Corporation Commission calculates that Virginian households could save nearly $10 a month. While the General Assembly considers a raft of bills that could increase electricity costs in the coming years, the Fair Energy Bills Act is unique in its goal of bringing customer bills down.”

Every Democratic delegate and 22 Republican delegates voted in favor of the bill, which a Senate Commerce and Labor subcommittee will consider next week.

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