State regulators say Dominion charging excessive rates

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) – Did you have a higher power bill over the past two years?

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) say Dominion Virginia Power customers should get a $64 million refund for overpaying in 2013 and 2014.

SCC staff filed testimony Thursday also saying Dominion’s base rates are currently too high by about $312 million a year.

However, a spokesperson for Dominion says the analysis is totally wrong.

“The reality is that we are not over earning,” says David Botkins with Virginia Dominion Power.

“Dominion’s rates are 20 percent below the national average, and we will put on evidence in the case that will illustrate the facts from Dominion’s perspective.” Botkins added. “The reliability for our customers is at an all time high, and our commitment to customer service and excellence is at extraordinary levels. We work hard and do the best we can do everyday to keep the lights on for Virginians, and we are committed to that going forward.”

Dominion will present its side of the story in September.

The SCC’s three commissioners will then determine if the company’s rates were too high for 2013 and 2014. After that, the commissioners won’t be able to change Dominion’s base rates until at least 2022 because of legislation the General Assembly passed earlier this year.

“No one wants the company to under earn, because if it’s in an under earnings position, it can’t provide reliable service. So the job of the commission is to get the rate right, per Virginia law. The responsibility of the consumer is to use energy wisely,” says Ken Schrad with the State Corporation Commission.

If the panel determines that Dominion over charged customers, the company says they will absolutely issue refunds.

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