A recent “report” in the Richmond Times Dispatch stating that Dominion Virginia Power’s conservation programs will raise power rates for Virginians by 34 cents disregards the $1.32 extra that Dominion’s Virginia ratepayers will have to fork over to pay for a new coal plant in Wise County, euphemistically dubbed the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. That is, Dominion’s residential ratepayers in Virginia will be paying nearly four times as much on their monthly utility bill for a new coal plant as for energy efficiency.
With coal as a rapidly declining source of energy for Virginians, as for Americans in general, and an indisputable source of greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants, the headline should have made hay over the inexcusable construction of another coal-fired power plant in the commonwealth and the subsequent financial toll it will make on Virginia’s ratepayers.
What the headline could have also said is that the new energy efficiency programs introduced by Dominion will reduce the utility bills of Dominion’s residential ratepayers more than the price of the efficiency programs.
Dominion’s new energy efficiency programs are a win-win for Dominion, its customers, and Virginia, not a new coal plant in Wise County that costs nearly four times as much as energy efficiency. That’s the real headline.