Dominion Energy Virginia is asking state utility regulators to approve billions of dollars in new spending to increase nuclear and natural gas capacity over the next 10 years in order meet its forecast for future energy demand. These costs would be passed on to consumers in the form of substantially higher utility bills. While Dominion has invested in energy efficiency—a cost-effective method to lower energy demand and reduce customer bills—it has done so at much lower levels than utilities in other states. In a recent study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Virginia ranked twenty-ninth among states for energy efficiency, suggesting substantial room for expanding energy efficiency efforts within the state. Lower demand also reduces the need for new power plants. Because new power plants are expensive and the cost of building them is borne by ratepayers, fewer new power plants means consumers could save even more. This report investigates the impact of various levels of energy efficiency on electric rates and bills of Dominion customers. We find that by investing in energy efficiency, Dominion customers would enjoy lower rates and bills while future energy demand would be met with fewer than half of the new power plants currently proposed by Dominion.
A full copy of the report is available HERE
Report prepared by Applied Economics Clinic, for Consumers Union