RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has
authorized several programs requested by Dominion Virginia Power designed to reduce
customer electricity usage and demand.
The SCC approved a five-year Residential Bundle Program consisting of four programs:
- Residential Home Energy Check-Up Program
- Residential Duct Testing and Sealing Program
- Residential Heat Pump Tune-Up Program
- Residential Heat Pump Upgrade Program
The Commission placed a total cost cap for the Residential Bundle Program at $90
million for the five-year period.
The SCC also approved a five-year Commercial Bundle Program consisting of two programs:
- Commercial Energy Audit Program
- Commercial Duct Testing and Sealing Program
The total cost cap for the Commercial Bundle Program is $45 million for the five-year
To protect customers, the SCC imposed the caps on the total amount that could be
billed to customers for the costs of the efficiency programs, including any resulting
lost revenues to the company. Under Virginia law, a utility company is allowed to
charge its customers both for the implementation costs of efficiency programs and
for revenues it does not receive when customers reduce their energy usage as a result
of such programs.
In its order, the SCC stated, “…the evidence indicates that the costs associated
with lost revenues could constitute more than half of the total costs to customers
of these programs.” The SCC found that the potential bill increases resulting from
these programs is relevant to its determination of the public interest and therefore
established the total cost caps for the programs.
The SCC approved a Commercial Distributed Generation Program as a peak-shaving program
rather than an energy efficiency program.
In addition, the SCC approved cost recovery for a previously allowed Electric Vehicle
The Commission rejected the continuation and expansion of the Residential Lighting
Program, a rebate program for the purchase of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).
The SCC determined that there is significant information available to the public
regarding the potential energy savings benefits of CFL bulbs even absent a ratepayer-subsidized
program through the utility.
The SCC also rejected a Commercial Refrigeration Program, stating that the company
had not established the cost effectiveness of the program as a whole.
Under Virginia law, a utility company is allowed to recover certain costs for demand-side
programs on customer bills. For these programs, recovery will be accomplished through
a recovery mechanism, identified as Riders C1A and C2A, beginning with service rendered
on or after May 1, 2012.
Riders C1A and C2A will be reviewed annually and modified, as necessary, by future
orders of the Commission.
Case Number PUE-2011-00093