Dominion Energy Virginia customers likely will see a net increase of about $5 in monthly bills by the end of September after a series of rate changes, fuel cost surcharges and transmission costs are approved by state regulatory agencies.
Power officials say they expect most customers to see an estimated $2.50 rate decrease this summer through recently passed legislation. A one-time bill credit of $24.50 is also expected as a result of the law.
But officials say transmission costs are likely to rise an estimated $3.36 per customer in July and another $4.18 in September to pay for increased fuel costs, resulting in a net monthly increase of about $5.
The transmission and fuel costs need to be approved by the State Corporation Commission before they can be levied.
“The costs to support our high-voltage transmission system and to recover fuel expenses incurred to run our power stations would go up later this year under a pair of proposed rate changes filed today with the State Corporation Commission,” company spokesman Rayhan Daudani said Friday. “On average, our typical residential customer bill will remain largely unchanged in 2018.”
Daudani said the fuel and transmission charge increases will help offset Dominion’s investment in the electricity transmission network and pay for fuel costs that skyrocketed during colder winter weather.
“We continue to make major and needed investments in the transmission network to ensure reliability and increase security,” he said. “Constraints on the pipeline that supplies most of Virginia’s natural gas sent prices soaring in late December to an all-time record high in early January.”
The fuel rate charge is a direct charge of fuel costs to customers and contains no profit or markup, Daudani said.
Daudani said Dominion Energy, which owns Dominion Energy Virginia, is working with other power companies to build the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a controversial project that would run from West Virginia to North Carolina.
He said the pipeline, whose proposed route includes parts of Nelson and Buckingham counties, could improve the state’s access to natural gas and keep costs from rising.
The company also is investing in several solar panel “farms” across the state.