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Dominion Customers May See Cheaper Bill This Fall

Monthly electric charges could drop to an average of $105 per household by September.

Gas prices may be going up and up, but cost of electricity, at least for Dominion customers, is dropping.

The average household electricity bill is expected to drop to $105.90 in September, the company says, a 5.7 percent decrease from January 2012. The calculation is based on the an average use of 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

The drop is owed largely to a decrease in Dominion's fuel rate. The proposed fuel rate is 2.706 cents per kilowatt-hour – a decrease of approximately 18 percent from the current fuel rate of 3.289 cents per kilowatt-hour, said Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson.

The adjustment is the lowest the company has proposed since 2007, Anderson said. It will result in an annual fuel revenue reduction of $388 million.

In a company statement, Dominion is crediting the anticipated reductions to efficiencies found through "lower-than-expected prices for fuel used to generate electricity, abnormally mild weather and the performance of new generating units."

The rate decrease will offset three fee increases also planned over the next several months, the company said:

  • A 34 cent increase this month for energy efficiency programs
  • An increase of $1.32 to help recover operating costs of the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, expected to open sometime this summer. ("The typical monthly bill initially was reduced in April by 31 cents to recover pre-commercial service financing costs for this power station," the company said).
  • A $2.84 increase in August, when a SCC-approved credit to adjust base rates expires.

The rate reduction is pending approval by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Anderson said the SCC typically sets a date in late June for a public hearing and then makes a decision.

The rate goes into effect July 1, she said. If a decision isn't made until after that date, the decrease would be retroactive.  

If approved, it would be the fifth decrease in the fuel rate in the last three years and the largest single fuel rate decrease since 1998, the company said.

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