by Steve Haner
In a polite but clear “the emperor has no clothes” message, a member of the State Corporation Commission has questioned the need to impose a carbon tax to cut carbon emissions from electric generation by 30%, when the General Assembly has passed another law requiring a 100% reduction with no tax.
Judge Judith Jagdmann concurred with, but added her own comments to, an SCC opinion issued Wednesday that authorized another additional charge on Dominion Energy Virginia bills to cover the carbon credits demanded by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). A party-line vote in 2020 brought Virginia into that compact, and electricity generators have been buying carbon credits already for their coal and natural gas usage. Continue reading
By Steve Haner
Beginning August 1 of next year, Dominion Energy Virginia proposes to begin to collect the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon tax from its customers, collecting $168 million during the first year through yet another of those proliferating rate adjustment clauses (or “RACs”).
It will get it by charging a flat $.002388 per kilowatt hour, or $2.39 on every 1,000 kWh. The same charge will be imposed on residential, business, industrial and even non-profit customers. The full case file is here.
Is the universal flat rate a break for residential customers or a break for the largest users? Usually, there are complicated differences in their tariffs. Look for example at the RAC charge for other environmental projects at the utility, Rider E. Residential customers pay $1.68 per 1,000 kWh for that, while large industrial accounts pay from $1.25 (GS-1) down to around 70 cents (Schedule 10). Continue reading
The initial “PIPP” tax added to Dominion and APCo bills in 2021 may hide the full impact of the program.
By Steve Haner
As the State Corporation Commission prepares to set up Virginia’s first electricity cost shifting program, using a tax on all electric bills to provide discounts to low-income customers, advocates are already pushing to expand and enrich it.
An expert hired by an environmental group argues in testimony that the General Assembly erred when it capped electricity payments from poorer households at 6% of their monthly income if they did not have electric heat, and 10% if they did. Appalachian Voices’ expert wants the SCC to lower the rate to 5% and 8% respectively, greatly increasing the amount of revenue that must be extracted from other customers. Continue reading
Source: Energy Information Agency. Click for larger view. LCOE, LACE and Value-Cost Ratio explained below.
By Steve Haner
If all else fails in achieving your green energy dreams, you can always hope for a depression.
In Italy, the COVID-19 depression has already dropped electricity demand by about 18-21%, as reported recently by Utility Dive. The regional transmission organizations around the United States are seeing declines, as well, and I’ve been told (no data, but a reliable source) that PJM’s load is approaching a 10% drop. Past recessions have included electricity usage declines. Continue reading
Current RGGI States
Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board will meet April 19 to consider the next regulatory step to limit CO2 emissions from Virginia electricity plants through membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The agenda packet for the meeting, on-line here, contains more than 330 pages on the complicated issue, probably the best point counterpoint discussion on that already-voluminous record. The entire record from the two comment periods is summarized, with DEQ staff politely thanking those who praise the regulation and vigorously disputing those who oppose it. Continue reading
Dominion Files IRP Amendments, Cost Scenarios Requested by SCC
Late last week Dominion Virginia Power filed a summary of amendments and additions to its rejected Integrated Resource Plan, along with a legal memorandum arguing with the SCC over what parts of the 2018 Ratepayer Bill Transformation Act are mandates. Dominion, of course, uses its name for the Grid Transformation and Security Act (GTSA).
The provisions of GTSA included add $4.7 billion in capital costs to the plan. (Hence my nickname for the legislation.)
I share this mainly to give interested readers a link to the documents, which will not mean much without careful comparison to the earlier data. The testimony of several Dominion witnesses mentioned is not yet included on the record, and other parties to the case have until April to digest and respond to the new data. SCC staff testimony is due April 16. A hearing is set for May 8. Continue reading
The clock is ticking toward a March 6 deadline if you are burning with a desire to comment on the latest version of Virginia’s proposed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative regulation. Perusing the hundreds of comments from the 2018 round of comments, there may not be much to add.
If you liked the first version, you’ll love this revision. If you hated the first version, you will see this one as worse. It is very much the same, only more so – starting with the new beginning target for carbon dioxide emission from power plants of 28 million tons per year, down from the first proposal’s target of 33 million tons per year. Continue reading