Dominion Virginia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (2016 IRP) that was filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) does not meet “the standard of ensuring the lowest possible cost for its customers,” according to a September 28 letter sent to the SCC by Consumer’s Union (CU), publisher of Consumer Reports. The letter further states that Dominion’s Plan “presents an unrealistically high-cost approach to comply with a Clean Power Plan that several analyses . . . show can be met, and even exceeded, at far lower cost to consumers.” CU sited three primary deficiencies in Dominion’s 2016 IRP filing:
- Consideration of energy efficiency as the lowest-cost means of complying with the Clean Power Plan is insufficent;
- The 2016 IRP appears to intentionally exclude and gloss over lower-cost imports of cheaper and cleaner power from out of state. Dominion proposes to eventually become a net exporter of energy, a fundamental shift in Virginia that deserves a high degree of scrutiny from the Commission; and
- Dominion’s unjustifiably stratospheric “integration cost” of solar is entirely unreasonable and appears to cast a unnaturally favorable light on the addition of natural gas generation.
CU recently conducted a survey of Virginians to gauge their awareness of and support for several important electricity issues. Among the results:
- 90% of Virginia ratepayers try to lower their electric bills by conserving electricity;
- 92% of Virginians agree that a utility provider should make sure it is using existing energy sources efficiently before building a new power plant.
- Dominion customers rate the utility more negatively than positively for cost of electric bills, options or programs for lowering electric bills, and investments in renewable energy.