What on earth is State Senator Barbara Favola babbling about here (see screen shot of her email late yesterday, below)? First of all: NO, this legislation does NOT restore “full regulatory oversight over Dominion.” For more on that subject, see here for Delegates Ware and Keam asking, “Will it be the regulated [Dominion] that becomes the regulator?” The answer: it sure looks like it! And NO, it’s not a cause for yelling “Hurray!” (ee gads).
Second, the amount of money Dominion is giving back in “rate credits” ($200 million, plus another $125 million in reduced power rates) is paltry compared to the company’s overcharges (according to State Sen. Adam Ebbin, “One SCC commissioner estimates the total amount that would have been due to customers is as much as $1.1 billion”), and also miniscule on a per-household basis.
Third, and perhaps worst of all, the supposed $1.45 billion “in investments in energy efficiency projects…” is extremely dubious at best. To paraphrase a knowledgeable friend: “Although Dominion and Appalachian Power have to invest $1+ billion in energy efficiency – those investments are not defined – this could be anything including Dominion’s investment in more ‘efficient’ generation…Energy efficiency projects have to pass three out of four ‘net present value’ tests. Arguably, a new combined cycle gas turbine generator passes a net present value test and will qualify for the energy efficiency program. Bet it will.” Seriously? So, Dominion could build a new, relatively efficient (compared to coal) natural-gas fired power plant and claim that (at least in part) satisfies their “energy efficiency” goals? LOL
In sum, State Senator Barbara Favola appears to be buying Dominion’s – and her mentor Dick Saslaw’s – propaganda lock stock and barrel. The big question is why she – or anyone – would do that.