Virginians recently 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 coverage area, which totals more than 2.2 million Virginians, noted that the company routinely makes far more profit than the 9.2% 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 US Navy, the Virginia Attorney General, Walmart, the Virginia Poverty Law Center and 36 members of the Virginia General Assembly.
“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.
In March, Dominion Energy came under fire when it was announced that the cost of cleaning up coal ash stored in utility’s ponds across Virginia can be passed onto customers under bipartisan legislation that Governor Ralph Northam signed.
Senate Bill 1355 and House Bill 2786 require the closure and removal of any coal combustion residuals units, which the bills define as including coal ash ponds or landfills, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The legislation is intended to clean up more than 27 million cubic yards of coal ash in unlined ponds across the state.