Peace's Statement on Re-regulation of Utilities

House Bill 3068 Passes House (85-13)February 6, 2007

House Bill 3068 establishes a “Hybrid Regulatory Model,” and helps ensure a secure, reliable energy future for the Commonwealth. This model is achieved by doing 5 important things:

Restores Virginia to full cost-of-service regulation by the State Corporation Commission, including the provision for rate decreases if warranted. The bill reaffirms the sweeping powers of review and regulation of utility costs, rates and earnings spelled out in Chapter 10 of the Code.

Adds important new consumer protections that provide the SCC with broad powers to protect the interests of Virginia consumers, ensure that their electric rates are fair and reasonable, and determine each utility’s fair rate of return. Under the bill, the SCC is authorized to:

Set and reduce utility rates. Determine fair rates of return for Virginia utilities. Return earnings above authorized levels to customers. Conduct comprehensive reviews of utility books, records, rates and earnings. Approve or disapprove utility construction projects such as new generating units.

Provides incentives for utilities to build new generation to meet growing demand, to add environmental equipment at their power stations, and for excellent customer service -- all subject to SCC review and approval.

Provides incentives for utilities to find renewable forms of energy and demand-side management and conservation programs.

Maintains restructuring’s incentives for utility efficiency and superior performance.

This bill is a result of a year long task force. Today Virginia takes the first meaningful step towards ending the move toward pure deregulation and return to a cost-of-service model with these improvements.