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Virginia to get lower utility bills

Say it ain’t so. The bills of Dominion Virginia Power customers could drop 4 percent in September because of mild weather and a drop in natural gas prices.

The utility is seeking permission from the State Corporation Commission for two decreases that would offset three smaller increases the company is seeking.

Dominion is requesting a $5.83 drop in the monthly bill of its typical Virginia customer because of lower-than-expected prices to generate electricity, mild weather and the performance of new generating units.

“The abundance of natural gas also has driven the price down, and we have taken full advantage of this at our new Bear Garden Power Station.,” Dominion Virginia Power CEO Paul D. Konce said in a statement. “This highly efficient, natural gas-fired station is projected to save our customers approximately $122 million in fuel costs from June 1, 2011, through June 30, 2013, when compared with other fuel sources.”
The company is also proposing a decrease of $2.67 becomes of lower transmission-related costs. The three increases include 34 cents to cover energy efficiency programs, an increase of $1.32 once the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County begins commercial operations and an increase of $2.84 on Aug. 1 with the expiration of a credit to customers that has been applied to customers’ bills since February after the SCC reviewed base rates.

The fuel rate, adjusted each year, is a pass-through cost that does not affect Dominion’s profit

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