The Affordable Clean Energy Project (ACEP), an initiative of the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC), gives a voice to low income Virginians in collaboration with other organizations on the impacts of energy costs, and expresses the need and potential for energy efficiency measures specific to low-income and undeserved communities coping with current and rising energy utility costs.
On average Virginia households experience an already higher than average electricity burden of 3.1%, compared to a national average of 2.7%. “Electricity burden” is the percentage amount of your household income that is spent on electricity costs. Virginian’s higher than average electricity burden is unaffordable for over 75% of Virginia’s households.
“The Myth of Virginia’s Rate Utopia: A Comparison of Rates, Bills, and Riders” – This report from the Affordable Clean Energy Project shows that in comparison to peer sister utilities in the southeast, Virginia’s two for-profit monopoly electric utility companies – Dominion Energy (Dominion) and Appalachian Power Company (APCO) – have at best average rates for the region, and that the utility companies actually fell in ranking during the ten years since re-regulation for both rates and for residential customer bills.
SCC Presentation to the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on Electric Utility Regulation – At a December 2017 meeting of the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff provided this report to the legislators comparing Dominion’s and APCO’s bills since Virginia re-regulated the electric utility market in 2007. Over that ten-year period, SCC staff illustrated how Dominion’s residential customer bills had risen 29%, and APCO’s residential customers saw a 73% increase during that same period. It is important to note that while APCO’s bills have taken a sharper rise, residential customers from either utility on average see nearly equal bill amount.
Meet Our Staff for this initiative:
Dana Wiggins – ACEP Project Director . Dana has a background in Environmental Science and Advocacy, and is using that along with her many years of working on the household financial issues of Virginia Families including previous work on utility issues to shed light and boost the voice of lower income Virginians who wanting both affordable and clean energy options available to them.
Carmen Bingham – ACEP Project Coordinator. Carmen has worked in state government and advocacy for much of her career. Before coming to VPLC she was the Chief of Staff for the minority leader in the House of Delegates, an aide to another House of Delegates member, a coordinator with the League of Conservation Voters, and staff at the Virginia Department for Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Carmen brings her desire for justice, and love of the environmental, and knowledge of state government to help magnify the voice of lower income Virginians so that their voice is heard when utility rates and options for the availability of energy efficiency measures are discussed at all levels of government and at agencies.