State regulators deny Dominion Energy’s request to increase profits

Posted at 11:59 AM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 16:38:24-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The State Corporation Commission has ruled that Dominion Energy cannot increase its profits.

The energy company had sought to raise its future rate of return on equity to 10.75 percent. Instead, the SCC said the rate should remain the same at 9.2 percent.

The Commission said the current rate is “consistent with the public interest” and “reasonably balances the interests of [Dominion], its customers and its investors.”

The group Clean Virginia hailed the decision as a "win" for people in Virginia, as it says the increase would have cost Dominion customers an additional $147 million a year.

“Dominion’s customers won today, thanks to a broad swath of Virginians who opposed the utility monopoly’s request. These voices included hundreds of Dominion’s customers, low-income advocacy groups, large retailers like Walmart, the Office of the Attorney General, the U.S. Navy and nearly 40 members of the General Assembly," said Clean Energy Executive Director Brennan Gilmore.

Dominion responded to the decision with a brief statement. “The SCC order in effect confirms our existing return on equity.  We look forward to continuing our work to make our home state a national leader in clean, affordable, reliable energy," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Dominion has faced questions over its profits in recent months, including over the summer when the SCC reported Dominion made excess profits of nearly $280 million last year.

Last year, state lawmakers passed a bill allowing Dominion to keep the profits if they invest in newer technology. A spokesperson for Dominion says that is exactly their plan: to invest in more solar and wind energy.

"Reinvesting the revenue identified by the SCC today will enable us to give our customers what they want while also keeping rates low," Audrey Cannon said in a statement.