|04/07: Governor signs SB 1416 which “advances the scheduled expiration of the capped rate period from December 31, 2010, to December 31, 2008, establishes a new mechanism for regulating the rates of investor-owned electric utilities, and limits the ability of most consumers to purchase electric generation service from competing suppliers. The ratemaking procedure requires the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to conduct a rate case for investor-owned utilities in 2009; thereafter, the SCC will review each utility's rates, terms, and conditions using two 12-month test periods ending December 31, 2010, though the SCC is given discretion to stagger the years in which it conducts such reviews. In these biennial reviews the SCC will determine fair rates of return on common equity for the utility's generation and distribution services, using any methodology it finds consistent with the public interest…Under the program, a participating utility that meets specified percentage goals for sales of eligible renewable energy is eligible for a Performance Incentive that increases the fair combined rate of return on common equity for the utility…With regard to the ability of customers to purchase generation services from competing providers, the measure provides that after the capped rate period ends, only customers whose annual demand exceeds five megawatts will be permitted to shop.”
02/07: Legislation backed by the state's dominant power company to pull the plug on the state's experiment with electric utility deregulation was unanimously endorsed by a Senate committee Monday evening. Meanwhile, the House of Delegates gave preliminary approval to a similar but competing version of the "re-regulation" bill that contains some provisions the utility, Dominion Resources, dislikes.
01/07: Virginia State Sen. Thomas K. Norment introduced legislation that would replace the state's deregulated electric power market with regulated profits at 7 percent over utilities’ long-term bond costs.
05/06: Governor Tim Kaine signed Senate Bill 262 (SB 262) which initiates the development of a state energy plan and also amends earlier legislation so that Dominion Virginia Power’s fuel rate must be adjusted annually until the rate cap expires in 2011.
9/05: The 2005 State Corporation Commission (SCC) report to the Governor and the General Assembly finds that despite reaching key regulatory objectives in the sixth year of Virginia's transition, little retail competition for electricity supply service has actually developed in Virginia.
The basic rules, systems, and procedures are in place to accommodate retail choice in the Commonwealth. Yet electricity suppliers still find little economic incentive to enter the Virginia retail market. The existence of capped rates until the end of 2010 along with steep increases in wholesale power costs continue to discourage, if not prevent, entry by alternative suppliers into Virginia's retail generation market.
Because of high wholesale market costs, competitive suppliers are unable to sell electricity at retail prices lower than most retail customers' capped rates. Thus, no competitive suppliers are presently making any offers in Virginia that beat the capped rates of Virginia's regulated utilities.
1/05: The Virginia State Corporation Commission has created Virginia Energy Choice to disseminate information about the energy restructuring in Virginia. Virginia Energy Choice has a toolbox that has useful materials about Energy Choice for communities and businesses. Dominion Virginia Power's retail electric pilot programs have been staffed by competitive suppliers and are up and running.
6/04: The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved modifications to three retail electric pilot programs proposed by Dominion Virginia Power. The pilots, designed to test components of retail competition for electricity supply service, were delayed in February when no competitive suppliers submitted bids to offer service to eligible customers.
The revisions are intended to provide additional incentives needed by suppliers to be able to supply electricity to pilot participants. The SCC is allowing Dominion to implement the pilot programs in order to learn more about advancing competition in the Commonwealth. More than 65,000 customers from a variety of customer classes will be eligible to participate in one of the three programs (competitive bid supply service, municipal aggregation, and commercial and industrial pilots) which will last through July 1, 2007.
3/04: The electric deregulation phase-in process was completed in January 2004 when 13 electric cooperatives around the state made choice available to their customers. Rate caps and wire charges are slated to end in 2007.
11/02: The Virginia State Corporation Commission increased the fuel rate from 1.31 cents per kilowatthour to 1.463 cents per kilowatthour for AEP-Virginia effective January 1, 2003. The Virginia Electric Utility Restructuring Act allows the SCC to increase rates for fuel costs even during the rate cap period.
1/02: The State Corporation Commission (SCC) issued the average price to compare rates for each customer class. "The price to compare is the regulated price of generation and transmission of electricity, less any applicable competitive transition charge." Competitive service providers use these rates to determine what it must offer in order to attract customers. Eligible customers must contact their current supplier for the actual rates. According to the SCC's 2002 average "price to compare" chart, overall AEP Virginia has the lowest average rates. However, Dominion Virginia Power has the lowest average rate in the large commercial class. All AEP-Virginia, Allegheny Power, and Conectiv customers became eligible to choose an electric supplier on January 1, 2002. Dominion Virginia Power allowed only its Northern Virginia residential customers and one-third of its non-residential customers to participate in electric choice on January 1, 2002, but it will phase in electric choice by January 1, 2003 for the rest of its customers.
12/01: The SCC issued orders for each investor-owned and cooperative utility to functionally unbundle generation from delivery within each company. Virginia Electric and Power Company and American Electric Power had requested legal separation of generation assets from the rest of the company, but the SCC denied the requested plans, imposing only functional separation at this time. The orders direct each utility to maintain separate divisions along functional lines for the generation, transmission and distribution functions. Customer choice for most customers in the State will begin January 2002 and by January 2004 all customers will be able to choose their supplier for the generation portion of electric service. The incumbent utilities will continue to provide delivery service for all customers and default service for the customers who do not choose an alternative provider. The SCC will set rates for the generation portion of service provided by incumbent utilities, which will be capped during a transition period through 2007. Customers will be able to use this "price to compare" rate when deciding to remain with their incumbent utility or choose a competing supplier for generation. The Virginia Energy Choice web site provides information about the new competitive energy supply market in Virginia.
10/01: The SCC issued an order regarding customer minimum stay periods (the time a customer must remain with the incumbent utility upon returning from competitive supplier service). When returning to capped rate or default service after receiving service from a competitive service provider, customers with an annual peak demand of 500 kW or greater will be required to remain with the default supplier a minimum of 12 months. However, if the competitive service supplier leaves Virginia, the minimum stay period will not apply to the affected customers. The complete set of rules governing retail access to competitive energy services including minimum stay periods is located on the SCC's website.
6/01: The SCC adopted rules to advance a competitive energy supply market and protect customers that shop for alternative electric suppliers when the retail market opens in January 2002. The SCC ruled that utilities will be required to provide lists of all eligible customers to compeitive service providers. Customers will have the opportunity to have the information withheld, known as the "opt-out" provision. Utilities will also be required to unbundle charges on customer bills into the following components: distribution service, competitive transition charge, electricity supply service, state and local consumption tax, and local utility tax. Bills will also include a customer's monthly energy consumption for the previous 12 months, a "price to compare" for shopping comparison to energy service providers prices, descriptions of charges, and notices of any rate changes. Rules also provide numerous consumer protections and rights to information. The Virginia Energy Choice web site provides information about the progress toward developing a competitive energy supply market in Virginia.
8/98: The SCC approved more than $700 million in refunds and rate reductions. A total of $150 million in refunds will be provided by November 2, 1998. In return for the refund/rate cuts, Virginia Power will use $220 million in revenue to reduce debt on generation assets.
3/98: The SCC ordered investor-owned utilities to begin work on change to introduce retail competition to the State including the creation of an ISO, PX, and plans for pilot programs. Utilities are to report on their previous activities and future plans by April 15, 1998