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SCC orders Dominion to pay customers $19.7 million after biennial review

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Nov 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 17:27:37-05

RICHMOND, Va. — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has released its findings of their biennial review of Dominion Virginia Power’s earnings and has ordered the company to refund $19.7 million to their customers.

The SCC found that Dominion had earnings above its legal limit during 2013 and 2014, thus the refund.

As a result of their findings, the SCC concluded that:

  • Dominion Virginia Power earned, on average, a return on equity of approximately 10.89 percent on its generation and distribution services. The authorized rate of return is 10 percent, but the company, by law, is permitted to keep additional earnings up to 10.7 percent. Thus, the company retains approximately $103.9 million of the excess earnings above 10 percent.
  • By law, the company is permitted to keep 30 percent of the excess earnings above 10.7 percent which is approximately $8.5 million.
  • By law, the remaining 70 percent, or $19.7 million, is credited to customers’ bills.

The refund will come to customers in the form of a credit shown on bills spread over a six month period. The credit will appear on bills beginning no later than the February 2016 billing cycle.

For a typical residential customer using an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, the total refund will range between $4 and $5 based on each customer’s usage during years 2013 and 2014.

Dominion was able to successfully pass a law in 2014 allowing this biennial review of their earnings be suspended until 2022.

In a press release the SCC concluded that:

“A Commission majority also determined that, unlike prior financial reviews, under the 2015 legislation the Commission cannot now determine the fair rate of return that will be used for the purposes of the company’s next biennial review in 2022. The new law states that the return on equity for Dominion’s next biennial review will be determined in a proceeding in 2019.”