Bipartisan “Fair Energy Bills Act” could lower customers’ bills by nearly $10 a month
In a 77-23 vote, the House of Delegates has passed the Fair Energy Bills Act, HB 1132, introduced by Chief Patron Democratic Delegate Jay Jones (Norfolk) and Chief Co-Patron Republican Delegate Lee Ware (Powhatan).
The bill seeks to restore the traditional regulatory authority of the State Corporation Commission (SCC) 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.
If the Fair Energy Bills Act passes, the SCC estimates that Dominion customers could save roughly $10 a month on their electricity bills, based on the amount Dominion Energy has overcharged customers in recent years.
In response, Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore said, “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. Dominion Energy has overcharged Virginians a whopping $1.3 billion since 2015, and Virginians now pay the 7th 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.”
“It is now up to the State Senate to fix the energy burden crisis in Virginia. This is not controversial legislation — it’s a must-pass bill that will relieve Virginians of skyrocketing costs that no longer reflect their actual energy use.”
Every Democratic House Delegate and 22 Republican House Delegates voted in favor of the bill, which a Senate Commerce and Labor subcommittee will consider next week.