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Electric bills to fall slightly

Dominion Virginia Power instituted lower electric rates on July 1, when new fuel charges took effect on an interim basis.

For a typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, the reduction will be $4.35, or about 3.8 percent.

With this adjustment, the typical residential bill will have increased by just under 4 percent since July 2008 – less than half the rate of inflation over the same eight-year period.

The reduction is primarily due to savings achieved by Dominion through lower fuel prices, milder weather and efficient power station operations.

No change, up or down, can occur in company rates without approval of the SCC.

The fuel charge comprises about 20 percent of a typical residential bill. The company is not allowed to profit on the fuel charge, so customers pay the actual cost of power station fuels such as natural gas, coal, uranium and oil. The fuel charge is typically changed only once a year.