Battle Over Energy Efficiency in Virginia

Mar 21, 2019

Credit Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest electric utility is defending its plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars less on energy efficiency than what top officials say they agreed to last year in a sweeping overhaul of electric regulation.

The new law says Dominion Energy must propose spending at least $870 million over the next decade on energy efficiency programs. Dominion said at a regulatory hearing Wednesday that the cost of those programs should include any lost revenue it would incur due to decreased electric usage. That could lower the $870 million figure by 40 percent.

Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler, Democratic Sen. Dick Saslaw and other groups that helped negotiate last year's legislation said the clear intent of the law was not to include lost revenues.