Dominion refunds cheer customers

Published 9:20 am Saturday, March 13, 2010

FRANKLIN—Dominion Virginia Power customers will receive $726 million in rate refunds and credits through 2012, thanks to a proposal approved by the State Corporation Commission.

Dominion’s base rate will also remain unchanged through Dec. 1, 2013; however, fuel and other rates may change during this period.

Under the SCC’s final order, a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month will pay $99.07, compared with the current $108.36, which includes the interim rate increase.

Victor Story, who uses Dominion Virginia Power at his Isle of Wight County property, said he is glad his monthly bill will be lower.

“I’m thrilled it’s going down,” he said. “Anytime you get a reduction in anything you’ve got to be thrilled.”

Residential customers aren’t the only ones who will see a break. Commercial customers also are pleased with the news.

“I think that’s great,” said Mike McManus of Boykins Beans & Ice Cream. “It needs to be done.”

In September, Dominion increased its base rates, on an interim basis, by $250.2 million. According to the SCC, customers are due a refund, with interest, on the over-collected amounts for the seven months during which interim rates were in effect.

Most customers should see the refund of the amount collected under the higher interim rates, along with interest, as a credit on their monthly bill within the next 60 days.

McManus said the excess earnings, whether they were intentional or accidental, need to be refunded.

A typical residential customer will receive approximately $153 in bill reductions as a result of the agreement. Over the next nine months, about $80 in bill credits will be applied. During 2011 and 2012, a residential customer will receive monthly base rate bill credits totaling approximately $32. Customers also will see a reduction in their monthly transmission rider charges starting in January 2011 that will extend for more than eight years and will total approximately $41.