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Kilgore touts utility rules legislation

staff report • Jan 30, 2013 at 10:27 AM

RICHMOND — State Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, says legislation carried forward by him in the Virginia General Assembly will significantly lower electric costs for Virginia businesses and families.

The House of Delegates on Monday passed emergency legislation to eliminate renewable portfolio standard (RPS) adders and streamlines how the State Corporation Commission (SCC) reviews the base rate cases of Dominion Power and American Electric Power, Virginia’s two largest investor owned electric utilities.

An RPS is defined as a regulation that requires the increased production of energy from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass and/or geothermal. The RPS generally places an obligation on electricity suppliers to produce a specified fraction of their power from renewable sources.

Kilgore said H.S. 2261 will lower electricity costs for consumers by eliminating the RPS while also ensuring the SCC “has the time and resources it needs to review rate cases of the utility companies.”

The bill is a result of negotiations between the utility companies and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The attorney general has said the RPS adders could cost Virginia customers $1 billion more than necessary if not eliminated.

Kilgore said Cuccinelli “has taken the lead on making this legislation happen. The result is a bill that will benefit Virginia’s businesses and families by lowering electric costs and making sure future rate cases are thoroughly reviewed and vetted before being passed. The attorney general’s leadership has been critical in making this happen.”

State Delegate Charles Poindexter, R-Franklin, said the legislation is “welcome news” for economically distressed areas like Southern Virginia. His district represents part of AEP’s service area.

“The cost of electricity impacts our businesses by driving up the costs associated with running machinery and equipment, our families who are trying to buy groceries and gas on tight budgets, and our senior citizens who live on a fixed income,” Poindexter said.

“This legislation is an important step in making sure we do all we can to keep costs down now and in the future.”

Kilgore’s 1st House District encompasses all of Scott and Lee counties, parts of Wise County and the city of Norton.

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