WASHINGTON — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday that will once again allow some power customers in the state to get refund checks when their utility companies overcharge them.
Northam said the legislation would end the freeze on energy utility rates and return money to customers.
Today I signed legislation ending the freeze on energy utility rates, returning money to customers, and investing in clean energy and a modern grid. I am proud that my team and I improved this bill significantly and thank the General Assembly for its continued work on the measure
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) March 9, 2018
The law will also reallot power to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to review the utility rates of Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power — the two largest power companies in the state.
The reviews made by the SCC would ensure that companies are not charging rates that lead to an excess in profits. The law ends the freeze on electric rates which had been put in place by the power companies.
State Sen. Chap Petersen, a Democrat representing Fairfax, Virginia, described the 2015 Rate Freeze as a “refund freeze,” since it froze the ability for customers in Virginia to receive refunds when companies made excessive profits.