Senate passes Dominion-backed regulation rewrite

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Senate has passed legislation putting new limits on regulators’ ability to lower utilities’ electric rates that are currently earning excessive profits.

The Senate voted Friday for the bill, which also providing some rebates for past overearnings.

The vote came despite warnings from the attorney general’s office and regulators that it could result in billions of dollars in unnecessary costs while also effectively forcing customers to pay twice for some projects.

Supporters of the legislation included Dominion Energy, Appalachian Power, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and others.

They say the overhaul of state regulations is needed to help Virginia catch up to other states in renewable energy and modernizing the electric grid without incurring dramatic price swings.

A House vote is expected next week.

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