Dominion plans put profits ahead of public necessity

Expert analysis filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission today reveals that Dominion Energy customers will end up paying between $1.6 to 2.3 billion in unneeded costs if Dominion builds the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The analysis is included in one of three expert testimonies filed by SELC on Dominion Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan.

“Today’s filings add to mounting evidence that Dominion Energy is not getting the numbers right in its planning process,” says Staff Attorney Will Cleveland. “That’s a problem not just from an environmental standpoint but in terms of wasting billions of customer dollars.”

The detailed analysis of Dominion’s IRP, the document that guides the utility’s long term planning, reveals that the company continues to use outdated data and modeling to come up with an energy plan for Virginia – one that skews in favor of the most lucrative plan for shareholders rather than the soundest one for energy consumption and customer costs.

SELC’s experts reviewed Dominion’s IRP and found the following:

  • Dominion is dramatically over-projecting the demand for electricity in Virginia and, as a result, is planning on building costly, and completely unnecessary, power plants at customer expense. This follows a pattern of bad analysis in Dominion IRPs that has been going on for a decade resulting in years of poor and inefficient planning.
  • Dominion’s claim that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is needed for cost-saving reasons does not add up. Using Dominion’s own data, the analysis shows that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will not save its customers a single dollar, instead adding billions to customers’ bills.
  • Dominion is setting an arbitrary cap on the amount of solar it is willing to commit to in favor of building more natural gas infrastructure. By creating this artificially constrained model to determine solar use, Dominion overestimates its need for reliance on natural gas.

SELC will represent Appalachian Voices, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the National Resources Defense Council at Dominion’s IRP hearing at the Virginia SCC in September.

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