Electric utility regulation; suspension of regulatory reviews of utility earnings. (SB1349)

Introduced By

Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Electric utility regulation; suspension of reviews of earnings. Bars the State Corporation Commission (SCC) from conducting a biennial review of the rates, terms, and conditions for any service of Dominion Virginia Power for the eight test periods beginning January 1, 2013, and ending December 31, 2020. The utility is directed not to make biennial review filings in 2016 through 2022. The SCC is directed to dismiss any biennial review initiated in 2015 without making findings or determinations and is barred from adjusting the utility's rates until the conclusion of the 2023 biennial review, with certain exceptions. The SCC is directed to conduct biennial proceedings from 2017 through 2021 to determine what constitutes the utility's fair rate of return on common equity for use in connection with rate adjustment clauses. The measure also requires each electric utility to file updated integrated resource plans annually starting in 2015; currently, such updates are required to be filed biennially. Amends § 56-599, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/19/2015Presented and ordered printed 15103173D
01/19/2015Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/23/2015Assigned C&L sub: Special to examine the EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan
01/27/2015Impact statement from SCC (SB1349)
02/02/2015Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (14-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2015Committee substitute printed 15104649D-S1
02/04/2015Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2015Read second time
02/05/2015Reading of substitute waived
02/05/2015Committee substitute rejected 15104649D-S1
02/05/2015Floor substitute printed 15104860D-S2 (Wagner)
02/05/2015Amendments by Senator McEachin withdrawn
02/05/2015Substitute by Senator Wagner agreed to 15104860D-S2
02/05/2015Passed by for the day
02/06/2015Read second time
02/06/2015Reading of amendment waived
02/06/2015Amendment by Senator Wagner agreed to
02/06/2015Amendment by Senator Saslaw agreed to
02/06/2015Passed by temporarily
02/06/2015Amendment #3 by Senator McEachin withdrawn
02/06/2015Amendments #'s 1,2,4,5 by Senator McEachin agreed to
02/06/2015Amendment by Senator Alexander agreed to
02/06/2015Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendments SB1349ES2
02/06/2015Printed as engrossed 15104860D-ES2
02/06/2015Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2015Passed Senate (32-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2015Placed on Calendar
02/09/2015Read first time
02/09/2015Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/10/2015Reported from Commerce and Labor (14-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2015Read second time
02/12/2015Read third time
02/12/2015Pending question ordered
02/12/2015Passed House (72-Y 24-N 2-A)
02/12/2015Impact statement from SCC (SB1349S1)
02/12/2015Impact statement from SCC (SB1349S2)
02/12/2015VOTE: PASSAGE (72-Y 24-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/13/2015Enrolled
02/13/2015Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB1349ER)
02/13/2015Impact statement from SCC (SB1349ES2)
02/13/2015Signed by Speaker
02/16/2015Signed by President
02/17/2015Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/17/15
02/17/2015G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, Tuesday, February 24, 2015
02/18/2015Impact statement from SCC (SB1349ER)
02/24/2015G Approved by Governor-Chapter 6 (effective 7/1/15)
02/24/2015G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0006)

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 33 clips in all, totaling 52 minutes.

Comments

SALLY BURGER writes:

This bill made front page news this morning in The News Leader (Staunton, 1/26/15).According to the article, if this bill passes, "Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) would be allowed to avoid state regulation for eight years while having the ability to increase consumers' electric bills. DVP would maintain its base rate for eight years but would retain authority to increase fuel sur charges & other "riders" that are dded to customers' utility bills. The base rate typically makes up just over half of a customer's utility bill. The riders, known as rate adjustment clauses (RACs) would still require SCC approval but w/o taking into account DVP's "costs, revenues, investments or earnings". The SCC would forego reviewing DVP every two years, and would not be able to again until 2020. The Virginia Attorney General's office, which represents consumers in rate cases, said that the bill would eliminate SCC oversight, freeing Dominion to raise fees on consumers.

Please email the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and ask them to vote NO on SB 1349.

marshamaines writes:

I would like to see new legislation passed dis-allowing any utility company from disconnecting service without a minimum 10 day Notice.
A pre-paid account should not automate cut-off when "one" of the utilities' sets of books hits a "0" - when they are documented using multiple sets of accounting books for record-keeping.

This is a serious matter affecting thousands of Virginians whose electric power has been "disconnected" on Weekends, Holidays, or other days with less than 24 hours notice, whereby NO FORM of PAYMENT could be made other than electronic commerce, seriously discriminating against all Individuals who do not operate daily, or are unable to operate in commerce, with "credit". This is also a Public Health and Welfare issue, as any Virginian with medically-necessary utility co-dependence has little to zero remedy, with potentially life-threatening damages.

Please advise if you are willing to meet to discuss this issue - or have guidelines available for how the bill needs to be properly drafted for consideration

Mary Martin writes:

This bill is another way to allow electric utilities to abuse their customers while making record profits. Should absolutely not be passed. Shame on those that vote for this.

marshamaines I would love to get a group together to discuss not only the cut off notices but the constant adding of "deposits" whenever they please without justification. Please look me up on facebook and send me some contact info. I have many in my area ready to go.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

It is appalling that this bill passed the Senate. This bill is a huge, inexcusable gift to Dominion, a utility that has chosen to be regulated. It speaks very poorly of the General Assembly and our campaign finance / ethics processes that this bill sailed through the Senate. Good for Creigh Deeds (D-25), Adam Ebbin (D-30), John Edwards (D-21) Steve Newman (R-23), Chap Petersen (D-34), and Jennifer Wexton (D-33) for voting against it. Without a huge public outcry, I can't see it failing in the House.

Dominion is the largest campaign finance contributor in Virginia. I have to assume that many years of investing in legislators led to this bill, from which they will make many, many times their investment, on the backs of Virginians.

JASON KANARR writes:

It seems like another politician that is getting paid by a big corporation to fatten his pockets by fattening theirs. Time to change this dirty diaper for a clean one...