Dominion Power has been ordered by Virginia’s State Corporate Commission to refund over $11 million to customers who were overcharged.
Dominion Power of Virginia has revealed that it will be repaying more than $11 million in overcharges to customers. Some estimated 20,000-plus Dominion Power commercial customers were overcharged between 2013 and 2016, when the electricity provider says its meter readers failed to reset meters each month, consequently resulting in improperly adjusted peak rates. Dominion Power customers will receive a total of $11-$12 million in refunds, plus a five percent goodwill credit and interest. Repayment has already been approved by Virginia's State Corporate Commission.
While Dominion Power has verified overcharging occurred between 2013 and 2016, Virginia’s largest electric utility has said that overcharging may have occurred prior to 2013 as well. However, Dominion does not have records dating further back than 2013, so if customers believe they may have been overcharged and can show proof of over-billing to the company, they may be issued refunds. State law only requires utility companies to keep records for three years, but now the Division of Consumer Counsel has recommended that affected customers be given the opportunity to be refunded when evidence of overcharging prior to the 36-month period is verifiable.
The meter readers’ failure to reset meters each month was discovered last summer, resulting in inaccurate measurements of peak demand. Peak demand readings measure the largest amount of electricity needed at any time and are used in calculating portions of bills for customers who are on rate schedules. Dominion Power says that roughly 10 percent of its customers were affected and that once the problem was "discovered and understood, the company immediately implemented protocols and training to remedy this issue and ensure against it occurring again."
Dominion must now submit status reports to the SCC which outline and detail refunds and billings, as well as the number of customers who were affected and the total amount of issued refunds, interest, and credits.