Cuccinelli, Dominion reach agreement

Keith Loria Jan. 18, 2011, 10:47am


RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) - Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced on Thursday that he has reached an agreement with Dominion Virginia Power in which its customers will see an additional $75 million in rate credits.

The credits will start as early as April 1. Additionally, the agreement calls for a freeze on the company's base rates for an extra year to the end of 2014.

The agreement, which must be approved by the SCC, would expand on an already-approved $726 million rate credit agreed to in March. If approved, Dominion's next base rate case, currently scheduled to be filed in March 2011, would be deferred for one more year.

"I am pleased that, with the cooperative efforts of all the parties involved, this positive result has been achieved," Cuccinelli said.

"This agreement will provide additional economic benefits for Dominion's residential and business customers in the commonwealth. It should also provide Dominion with greater certainty in the regulatory process that will allow it to continue to earn a reasonable profit and attract the capital it needs to provide valuable electric service to the residents and businesses of Virginia."

A Dominion residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours would currently pay $102.86 on a seasoned weighted average basis. If the settlement goes through, that same customer would see a reduction of $1.49 on top of the $1.67 in monthly bill credits already in effect from the initial settlement.

By freezing the company's base rates and pushing its next base rate case out another year, base rate cases of Dominion and Appalachian Power Company would be staggered so that they would not be litigated before the SCC in the same years.

Dominion's earlier settlement on its rate case returned $397 million to customers in 2010, and will bring an additional $66 million in annual rate credits to customers this year and next year. Dominion has also agreed, for the next eight years, to forego the recovery of $197 million in certain historical costs approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which started Jan. 1.

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