Commercial, Utilities  -  May 31, 2019

Costco denied aggregation in Virginia

Virginia regulators on May 30 denied Costco’s request to buy electricity generated by someone besides Dominion Energy, the state's largest electric monopoly. Costco had requested to aggregate its stores' total electric usage to meet the threshold needed under state law in order to buy its energy on the open market.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Costco said Dominion is charging excessive rates and could raise costs even more thanks to a 2018 state law that Dominion helped write.

Regulators recently ruled against Walmart in a similar case, saying it would be unfair to let large companies ditch Dominion while forcing smaller customers to shoulder higher costs.

Dominion spokesman Rayhan Daudani said the company offers a great value and is pleased with the ruling.

 

SED's View: Costco joins a growing list of large power users that have had their interest in securing renewable energy from Dominion Energy rebuffed by regulators. The good news is Costco was directed to try and secure legislation that would allow them to exit the utility. The bad news is that Dominion Energy spends 2x more than anyone else on lobbying in Virginia. Lobbyist control over access to renewable energy in regulated markets must be exposed and addressed as a major obstacle if we are going to make real progress in making renewable energy available.

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