See? We told you unicorns are real – Dominion Energy proves it.
Unlike virtually every other utility in the country, including Rocky Mountain Power, Arizona Public Service and Eversource, just to name the most recent examples – Dominion has added significant solar in the past year and was still able to drop electricity rates on residential customers, including transmission charges.
“When it comes to household expenses we know every penny counts, which is why we always strive to provide reliable energy at the best value to our customers,” said Charlene Whitfield, vice-president of customer service for Dominion Energy. “We’re proud of our ability to keep rates stable while still providing great service, excellent reliability and increasing our investment in renewable energy.”
As utilities across the country argue that solar makes the grid more unstable (an argument disproven by the grid’s reaction during the solar eclipse) and they need to charge customers more as a result, Dominion’s ability to drop rates despite having added 27 solar projects (both operational and under development) that are generating 444 MW of power sends the clear message that such arguments are bunk.
But Dominion isn’t done adding solar. Its 2017 Integrated Resource Plan commits to building out its solar portfolio by at least 5 GW by 2042.
According to the company, the typical residential bill will drop by $1.55 starting due largely to a $2.07 reduction in transmission-related costs, allowing Dominion to charge 7% less than Virginia’s average, 16% less than the national average and 18% below the typical Washington D.C.-area bill.
The new rates go into effect today.
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Are these projects DER or CI/utility scale? The arguments that solar results in raising residential rates say that fewer utility retail customers means there are fewer people paying for distribution, so the utility has less revenue available for maintenance. If these are not mostly DER projects (and most of Virginia’s solar is not DER), then the rate decrease has probably nothing to do with solar unless the cost of generation is going down because solar has virtually no fuel cost, which pushes wholesale prices down on PJM. thus all sounds like green washing on the part of the utility company, no?
A positive note on which to start the Labor Day weekend !
I have not read the details of Dominion’s rate case. Why are residential bills going down by only $1.55 when the Transmission related reduction is $2.07? How does this indicate capital costs of solar do not contribute to rate increases?
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