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Old Dominion Power seeks rate increase in Virginia

Steve Igo • Jul 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM

NORTON — The State Corporation Commission of Virginia (SCC) has scheduled a public hearing in Norton on Nov. 18 on a request by Old Dominion Power Co. to increase electric base rates to Virginia customers.

A subsidiary of Kentucky Utilities, Old Dominion serves about 30,000 residential customers in Lee, Wise, Scott, Russell and Dickenson counties.

Kentucky Utilities spokesman Cliff Feltham said Wednesday Old Dominion seeks an additional $12.2 million annually from its Virginia customers, an overall 21 percent increase over current annual revenues. That rate hike percentage depends on household usage, but the SCC said the proposed rate increase would raise the monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kwh) from $70.05 to $91.64, an increase of more than 30.8 percent.

Feltham said ODP determines an average customer uses about 1,424 kwh per month, so an average bill would go up by another $24 or $25 a month.

Kentucky Utilities has not asked for a rate increase in Virginia since 1984, Feltham said, “and it’s not like it’s one of these ‘it’s about time’ things, but (higher electricity) demands from our customers and our making investments in infrastructure, and our need to respond to state and federal regulations coming into effect day-to-day, or so it seems at times.

“There has been a whole compilation of things over the last 25 years. When you have to go in and ask for a rate increase after all those years, we resisted asking that for our customers in Virginia but costs do go up over such a long period of time.”

The SCC has suspended the proposed increase through the end of October. The company may implement the proposed rates for services after Nov. 1 on an interim basis, subject to refund with interest.

The Nov. 18 hearing in Norton will begin at 4 p.m. and reconvene at 7 p.m. in the J.I. Burton High School auditorium for the sole purpose of receiving testimony from the public. Any person wishing to comment should arrive early and notify the SCC bailiff.

The SCC will also hold a public hearing in Richmond on Jan. 6 in the commission’s second floor courtroom in the Tyler Building at 1300 E. Main St.

Written comments must be submitted by Dec. 30. All correspondence should be sent to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond VA 23218-2118 and refer to case number PUE-2009-00029.

Comments can also be submitted electronically at the SCC Web site: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case/index.aspx. Click on the Public Comments/Notices link and then the Submit Comments button for case number PUE-2009-00029.

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