RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved the resolution of several electric rate cases that result in benefits to Dominion Virginia Power customers of $726 million. Additionally, customers will receive a refund of higher interim base rates in effect since September 1, 2009 that could exceed $145 million, and refunds in two rate adjustment clauses that could exceed $9 million. The company’s base rates will remain the same through December 1, 2013, while fuel and other rates may change during this period. In its final order, the Commission stated that the benefits from these actions “are particularly important for both residential and business consumers during current economic conditions and should help to promote economic development in the Commonwealth.”

The SCC’s final order means a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month will pay $99.07 compared to the current monthly bill of $108.36 that includes the interim rate increase. Customers are due a refund, with interest, on the over-collected amounts for the seven months during which interim rates were in effect.

A typical residential customer will receive approximately $153 in bill reductions as a result of the agreement. Over the next nine months, about $80 in bill credits will be applied. During 2011 and 2012, a residential customer will receive monthly base rate bill credits totaling approximately $32. Customers also will see a reduction in their monthly transmission rider charges starting in January 2011 that will extend for more than eight years and will total approximately $41.

In addition to eliminating any base rate increase through December 1, 2013, the $726 million in customer benefits provided by the Commission’s order is approximately $329 million more than the amount of customer savings in an earlier settlement proposed to the Commission by some parties to the case last fall.

Most customers should see the refund, with interest, of the amount collected under higher interim rates since last September as a credit on their monthly bill within the next 60 days.