House of Delegates passes changes to Virginia's electric utility regulation law
The Virginia House of Delegates passed emergency legislation Monday to make changes to Virginia's electric utility regulation law in order to significantly lower electric costs for Virginia businesses and families. The legislation, carried by Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) will eliminate renewable portfolio standard (RPS) adders and streamline how the State Corporation Commission reviews the base rate cases of Dominion Power and Appalachian Power, Virginia's two largest investor-owned electric utilities.
"House Bill 2261 changes Virginia's electric utility regulation law in order to eliminate the renewable portfolio standard adders and streamline how the SCC will review the base rate cases of Virginia's two largest investor-owned electric utilities," said Delegate Kilgore, Chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Labor. "This legislation will significantly lower electric costs for Virginia businesses and families, while also ensuring the State Corporation Commission has the time and resources it needs to review rate cases of the utility companies."
The legislation was the result of a compromise between the utility companies and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has said that the RPS adders could cost Virginia customers $1 billion more than necessary if not eliminated.
"Attorney General Cuccinelli has taken the lead on making this legislation happen," said Delegate Kilgore. "The result is a bill that will benefit Virginia's businesses and families by lowering electric costs and making sure future rate cases are thoroughly reviewed and vetted before being passed. The Attorney General's leadership has been critical in making this happen."
"For families and businesses all across the Commonwealth, but especially in economically distressed areas like Southern Virginia, this legislation is welcome news," said Delegate Charles Poindexter (R-Franklin), who represents part of the Appalachian Power service area. "The cost of electricity impacts our businesses, by driving up the costs associated with running machinery and equipment, our families who are trying to buy groceries and gas on tight budgets, and our senior citizens who live on a fixed income. This legislation is an important step in making sure we do all we can to keep costs down now and in the future."