Dominion removes incentive for residential customers to go solar

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    Cross-posted from Article XI

    It seems as if the VA State Corporation Commission was established to provide big businesses like Dominion VA Power virtually every demand they think up. On Wednesday, the commission did just that as it gave permission to Dominion to add a charge for large-scale residential solar customers.

    The “stand-by” charge will be applied to customers of Dominion Virginia Power with solar systems of 10 kilowatts hours or greater.

    Dominion didn’t completely get its way, fortunately. The State Corporation Commission was gracious enough to spare Dominion’s solar customers from a generation charge that would have been compounded with a transmission and distribution charge as well.

    Dominion has estimated that the standby charge would “only” apply to a “handful” of customers.

    The number of customers that the standby charge applies to misses the point entirely, however. What Dominion has done is taken away incentives for residential customers to “go solar” so that Dominion can retain its hefty monopoly over energy supplies, among other unpraiseworthy reasons.

    It’s time for Virginians and lovers of the environment and human health to stop playing nice with Dominion. Dominion has used the trust of its customers to string them along with false promises and dirty energy solutions.

    The writing on the wall is clear: Dominion will only move rapidly towards renewable sources of energy if Virginians take action to voice their demands for renewable energy. Only then will profits take second seat to the potential of a fervent customer backlash across the state.