There is a growing concern among Dominion Energy customers that new digital "Smart Meters" being used to replace analog meters can compromise people's health. Dominion Energy is also a key player in a gargantuan scheme to drop billions of rate-payer dollars into windmills off the coast of Virginia which will hit the pocketbooks of Virginians at a time when they are already stretched to pay bills. This is all part of Dominion's "Grid Transformation Plan" and their efforts to comply with the Democrat-imposed "Virginia Clean Economy Act" mandates.
Dominion Energy insists fully-functioning Smart Meters are safe, harmless and provide the greatest level of efficiency, but not everyone is convinced of that. Dominion offers a version of the new meter which looks similar but is not equipped with some of the features that cause concerns. Some people felt they were being forced to allow a Smart Meter to be installed. In their eyes, that meant choosing between their family's health and having electricity. In a few isolated incidents, Dominion shut off power for over a month to families who rejected Dominion's replacement meters and took it upon themselves to replace the meters without authorization from Dominion. With temperatures dropping, Dominion left the families without power and no workable resolution as winter closed in. Concerned consumers and advocacy leaders came to my office for relief.
A happy ending just in time for Christmas
We listened and acted. After hearing both sides there appeared to be a breakdown in understanding of smart meter options. The families who were without electricity needed Dominion to back off on penalties and to reconnect power to their homes. My office set up a conference call between Dominion Energy people and representatives from the State Corporation Commission (SCC) who oversee the Grid Transformation project to get to the facts of the matter. We discussed the immediate needs of the disconnected families and of customers in general. Our message to Dominion Energy was clear: work it out, get the power back on, and make the proposed penalties on the families go away. As of yesterday, two families had their electricity restored just ahead of the extreme cold weather.
As far as the rate increases on the horizon, that is still an open issue. Last week, the SCC, with their hands tied by the legislature, granted an approval for Dominion's Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, while noting “...[T]he electricity produced by this Project will be among the most expensive sources of power... in the entire United States,” and stating concerns with "... the substantial costs of this Project, which currently fall squarely on most of Dominion's customers..."
While I'm grateful that we were able to get power back on to these families, all Dominion customers are facing a future where they may not be able to pay their bills due to environmental-mandate-driven skyrocketing costs. Legislators, who have become too cozy with Dominion, have tied the hands of the SCC in matters of oversight. We need to do an about-face before soaring rates forecast by the SCC make electric rates unbearable. No one should be forced to choose between protecting their family's health and having essentials like electricity.
2. Christina Baker's Story is a moving account of a young girl who chose life over darkness.