Tag Archives: PIPP

Four Years In, Energy Subsidy Helping Very Few

From Dominion’s brochure on the PIPP program.

By Steve Haner

Four years after approval, a state program to provide lower electricity costs to low income families is still struggling to get going.  Administrative costs have far exceeded any actual benefits to utility customers to date.

It is called the Percentage of Income Payment Program (PIPP) and was created by the 2020 General Assembly as part of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. Almost three years ago, both Appalachian Power Company and Dominion Energy Virginia received permission to charge extra on their customer monthly bills to fund it.

Both companies have now filed updates with the State Corporation Commission and are seeking to adjust the amount they collect from general customers.  Dominion, which had enrolled 8,600 PIPP beneficiary accounts as of late March, is seeking to eliminate its monthly charge for a while. Appalachian, which still had zero customers enrolled by the time of its report, has applied to raise its surcharge.

Both are relatively tiny amounts so far. Just how large and how expensive the program might become over time remains anybody’s guess, but as utility costs grow so will the total amount of subsidies and surcharges. The intention is to limit a poor family’s electric bill to 10 percent of income if they use electricity for heat, and 6 percent if they use some other heating source.

So, another cost driver for the long term will be the continued push from government to eliminate the use of anything but electricity for heat. Natural gas and heating oil are squarely in the crosshairs of the Biden Administration and others who accept the climate catastrophe narrative and blame it on carbon-based fuels. Continue reading

Dominion Wind May Be Sued, Hikes Customer Bills

The first eight monopile bases for Dominion Energy’s CVOW project arrive on the Portsmouth waterfront. But a planned German-owned wind turbine blade factory nearby ist kaput.

by Steve Haner

Two national activist groups on energy and environmental issues, both with connections to Virginia, have taken the first legal steps to challenge the recent federal approvals for Virginia’s planned offshore wind complex.  Most of what follows is directly from their announcement dated November 14.

The Heartland Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) are filing with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) a 60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue letter for a violation of the Endangered Species Act. The violation is contained in a defective “biological opinion,” which authorizes the construction of Dominion Energy Virginia’s Virginia Offshore Wind Project (VOW). Continue reading

Why are the Poor Still Paying for Dominion Wind?

by Steve Haner

Virginia’s new electricity bill subsidy program for customers of Dominion Energy Virginia has cleared its final hurdle at the State Corporation Commission and will begin enrolling participants in time for this coming winter. It is largely following the schedule previously outlined.

In a final order issued October 13, the Commission set the rate adjustment clause amount that will be added to Dominion customer bills at 73 cents per 1,000 kilowatt hours. For most residential customers it will add between 50 cents and a dollar per month to their bills. Continue reading

Electricity Bill Caps for Poor Start in November

by Steve Haner

Beginning next winter, low- income customers of Dominion Energy Virginia or Appalachian Power Company will be eligible to have their monthly bills capped under a new state financial assistance program.

The income cut off to qualify for Virginia’s new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) assisting low income households with their electric bills is the same as the threshold for the long-standing Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). So LIHEAP beneficiaries will likely be the first enrolled in the new program later in 2023. Continue reading