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(The Center Square) – Virginians will need to pay nearly $15 more on their monthly energy bills for the next three years to partially offset higher fuel costs, according to an order from the State Corporation Commission.

The SCC approved a rate increase request for Dominion Energy so the utility can better align its rates with its fuel expenses, the order states. The approved rate increase is nearly 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which would increase monthly bills for residential consumers using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity by $14.93. This would cost the average ratepayer nearly $180 more for energy over the course of a year.

According to the SCC, this is more than a 12% hike for ratepayers.

“The Commission notes its awareness of the ongoing rise in gas prices, inflation, and other economic pressures that are impacting all utility customers,” the order read. “We are sensitive to the effects of rate increases, especially in times such as these. The Commission, however, must follow the laws applicable to this case, as well as the findings of fact supported by the evidence in the record.”

Per the SCC, the fuel rate pays for the fuel used to generate electricity and the costs associated with power purchased by the utility. A temporary increase went into effect on July 1 to account for higher fuel costs, but this order keeps the rate hike in place for three years from the start of the increase.

The SCC notes that the three-year mitigation plan allows Dominion Energy to recover about $1.02 billion in fuel costs. Dominion Energy also agreed to waive a recovery of one-half of its incremental carrying costs caused by the three-year mitigation proposal, which is about $27.5 million.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia 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.