You’ve got to hand it to Dominion Energy. They do a magnificent job looking out for the little guy. Wait a minute, sorry, I was thinking of a hypothetical parallel universe where Virginia’s largest electric utility shows a modicum of fairness to its customers.
In our current reality, it’s all about charging Virginians an arm and a leg while making sure the legislature remains compliant.
Its monthly rate increase will likely spark loud grumbling from its seven million consumers, half of whom call Virginia home. Inflation already set a new four-decade high in February. Economists predict the surge in gasoline prices this month and other factors from the fallout of Russia’s war will push inflation to the 10% range.
But for Dominion, who just received the regulatory green light for new solar projects, it’s the perfect time to make even more profit from its customers!
The State Corporation Commission approved the projects Tuesday, which the company expects to produce enough power for 250,000 homes. Psst — good job wielding that regulatory authority, guys!
Dominion said the developments would result in an average monthly rate increase of around $1.13 for residential customers after months of wages falling further and further behind price increases.
Richmond’s 8News further reports:
Dominion estimates the projects will also generate more than $880 million in economic benefits across Virginia and support nearly 4,200 jobs in the clean energy sector. The company plans to have the construction of the 15 new utility-owned solar and energy storage projects completed by 2023.
“This is the largest expansion of solar and energy storage in Virginia history and a major leap forward in delivering clean energy to our customers,” said Ed Baine, President of Dominion Energy Virginia in a release. “As we expand renewables across Virginia, we remain laser-focused on keeping our service affordable and reliable. These projects live up to that promise.”
Perhaps Ed wants to lull liberals into a false sense of complacency by touting the company’s investment in renewable energy.
Maybe everyone will forget how Dominion persuaded the General Assembly to pass a law in 2014 letting the energy giant charge Virginia customers hundreds of millions of dollars it wasted in an abandoned plan to build a new nuclear energy plant. One year later, Dominion used its influence in Richmond to shield itself from having to pay back hundreds of millions in customer overpayments.
While Dominion still donates to both parties, donations from 2021 noticeably favored Democrats.
Virginia Mercury reported at the time:
Dominion Energy’s political giving in Virginia has surged into the millions this year, and Democrats are the biggest beneficiaries, with donations totaling more than $1.8 million so far this cycle, according to campaign finance records compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.
The shift comes even as the vast majority of Democrats running for office this year have pledged to reject Dominion’s donations, prompting the company to go to lengths to direct money to candidates who have publicly said they would not solicit or accept the energy utility’s contributions.
Although the Republicans are primarily in power in Richmond, the political chameleons at Dominion continue to operate behind the scenes.