Why your Dominion Energy bill likely costs more this billing cycle

Posted at 11:51 PM, Jan 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-22 23:51:30-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Numerous viewers have been contacting the CBS 6 Problem Solvers about their astronomical December energy bills.

Cory Cotten said his bill was nearly 50% higher than the previous month. While he said he realizes that December was very cold, he was frustrated when he tried to reach out to the power giant.

"You get through to somebody then they transfer you to the correct department and I sat on hold for hours, which they said was due to high call volume, because apparently a lot of people are having this problem,” Cory Cotten said. “My wife posted on Facebook and it's not just us."

Bill Fitzgerald reached out to Dominion about Cotten's complaint.

Craig Carper, a spokesperson for Dominion, said that the longer wait is because many people have been contacting the utility company. He pointed consumers to the company's website, which he said has many of the answers people might be looking for.

Additionally, Carper said the charges on bills are strictly regulated – from the fuel recovery fees to the kilowatt usage rate.

Carper said it is crucial for customers to check just how many kilowatts they consumed, especially as December saw some very cold weather.

In fact, Carper said this year was the coldest Christmas week since 1989.

“I think the low during that cold snap was eight degrees,” Carper said. “If it's eight degrees outside, and you're trying to get the temperature in your house to the high 60s, the low 70s, you can imagine how much harder it's working than if the temperature outside was in the 30s or 40s.”

Carper said there are several steps you can take to reduce your bill.

First, check to make sure all your appliances are working properly, and that nothing is using more energy than it should.

Next, try to lower your thermostat when the temperature drops. Wear warmer clothing because that is when your heating system uses the most energy.

You can also increase your home's efficiency by weather stripping all windows and doors.

In addition, Dominion has programs such as budget billing, which averages your bill over 12 months. There is also Energy Share, which helps those who qualify who cannot pay their bill.

Carper pointed out that a bill before the General Assembly would provide $300 million in relief to Dominion Energy customers if passed. That would equate to about five or six dollars off the average customer's monthly bill.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.