Virginians demand Dominion Energy refund overcharges of $379M

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Photo Credit: niroworld

Virginians today gathered in front of Dominion Energy’s corporate offices in Richmond to demand a refund for hundreds of millions of dollars in annual overcharges to millions of residential and business ratepayers.

Speakers representing consumers from throughout Dominion Energy’s monopoly, which covers more than 2.2 million Virginians, noted that the company routinely makes far more profit than the 9.2 percent the law allows. Recently, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) reported that Dominion owes Virginians $379.7 million in refunds, based on their over-earnings from the last two years alone, refunds Dominion has said they’re not planning to issue.

The “Rally for Our Refunds” came just a day before Dominion Energy goes before the SCC to lobby to increase its profit margin, a request that has been called “excessive,” “unjustified,” and “unnecessary” and has drawn opposition from the U.S. Navy, the Virginia Attorney General, Walmart, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, and, in an historic show of force, 36 members of the Virginia General Assembly.

Numerous speakers criticized the company’s overcharges and manipulation of utility regulations:

“Dominion Energy has effectively built a conveyor belt to transfer Virginians’ hard-earned money to the corporation’s executives and shareholders. The electric monopoly has deprived Virginians of $1.3 billion in potential refunds while holding back the transition to a 21st-century energy economy. It’s time for legislators, customers, and regulators to join together to reform our dysfunctional utility system so that it works for everyone, not just one powerful monopoly,” said Brennan Gilmore, Clean Virginia Executive Director. 

“What Virginians want are lower bills and clean energy. Dominion is providing neither. We’re working to ensure Election Day gives voters what they want,” said Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. 

“Communities are facing economic challenges and cannot afford to overpay for utilities; there are critical needs for both relief from high energy bills and better stewardship of God’s Creation. As people of faith, we invite Dominion to be a partner and not an opponent in creating fair and equitable practices. ‘For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required’ (Luke 12:48),“ said Kendyl Crawford, Director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light. 

“For years, Dominion has been spending the hard-earned money of Virginians to rig the regulatory system that is supposed to be protecting us from monopolies. We are here today to say goodbye to the old ‘Virginia Way’ and reinstate the people of Virginia as the ones in charge of this Commonwealth,” said Harrison Wallace, Virginia Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. 

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