FILE - Power lines, Energy

Dominion Energy, a public utility that provides electricity for many Virginians, exceeded its annual profit target by $277 million, which amounts to 4.27 percent above its budget. But because of a recent change in the law, Dominion will not be forced to return the money to consumers via refund.

Although excess profits means that consumers were overcharged for their services, a 2018 law that was signed by Gov. Ralph Northam will allow Dominion to spend the excess money on newer technology as opposed to providing a refund.

These excess profits were found by the utility’s regulator, the State Corporation Commission (SCC), and detailed in its annual report

“Reinvesting the revenue identified by the SCC today will enable us to give our customers what they want while also keeping rates low,” Audrey Cannon, a Dominion spokesperson, said in a statement, according to WTKR.

Utility bills for Dominion’s ratepayers have been on the rise. According to the SCC report, the typical resident’s bill has increased more than 25 percent over the past 12 years. As of July 1, the typical residential bill was $113.76, up $23.17 from 2007.

Appalachian Power Company (APC) had an excess profit of less than half of one percent above what it was supposed to take in. This amounted to about $7 million in additional revenue, much lower than Dominion’s excess.

Staff Writer

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.