Do­min­ion re­buts claims in Schapiro col­umn

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - EDITORIAL PAGE -


The bill for a typ­i­cal Do­min­ion En­ergy Vir­ginia res­i­den­tial cus­tomer is lower to­day than it was be­fore the Gen­eral As­sem­bly acted in 2015 to boost so­lar devel­op­ment, in­crease aid to cus­tomers in need of help, and pro­tect ev­ery­one from un­ex­pected costs re­lated to car­bon re­duc­tions. This is just one of the er­rors that need to be cor­rected from Jeff Schapiro’s col­umn, “Big win for one of Va.’s big boys.”

Schapiro’s prob­lem stems from us­ing an in­cor­rect start­ing and end­ing point in as­sess­ing the im­pact of Se­nate Bill 1349. The leg­is­la­tion re­sulted in a rate re­duc­tion in the spring of 2015 — be­fore the July 1, 2015 date Schapiro in­cor­rectly cites as a start­ing point. This rate cut in­cluded re­quir­ing Do­min­ion En­ergy to write off $85 million in un­col­lected fuel ex­penses from the 2015 Po­lar Vor­tex. In Fe­bru­ary 2015, Do­min­ion’s typ­i­cal res­i­den­tial bill was $115.95. As of this month, the cor­re­spond­ing fig­ure is $115.65, not the $119.75 cited by Schapiro.

Schapiro also is mis­taken in re­fer­ring to the State Cor­po­ra­tion Com­mis­sion’s “cen­tu­ry­long” author­ity to or­der re­funds. The SCC gained that author­ity as a re­sult of 2007 leg­is­la­tion Schapiro crit­i­cized at the time. He also ne­glects to men­tion that here in Vir­ginia the McAuliffe ad­min­is­tra­tion is de­vel­op­ing its own car­bon reg­u­la­tion.

Se­nate Bill 1349 has led to sta­ble elec­tric­ity bills, a bur­geon­ing of the Vir­ginia so­lar in­dus­try, and a best-in-the-na­tion en­ergy as­sis­tance pro­gram. These are the facts, and un­like the er­ror­rid­den col­umn Schapiro wrote, they are in­dis­putable.






Editor’s note: The fig­ures cited in Jeff Schapiro’s Sept. 17 col­umn were pro­vided by the State Cor­po­ra­tion Com­mis­sion and were based on when the Vir­ginia law in ques­tion took ef­fect, July 1, 2015. Fur­ther, the SCC has al­ways had the power to or­der re­funds.

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