Richmond, VA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 25, 2007 – Legislators in the U.S. state of Virginia have passed a bill to end electricity deregulation, leaving consumers with no alternative supplier to choose from. Those against the bill hold that the state’s largest utility, Dominion Virginia Power, will effectively be free to hike rates, without the constraint of competition. Those in favor say that the laws introduce further protection for consumers, as well as state control of the rates charged by the utility.
As is the case with several U.S. states, the introduction of competition did not result in the expected availability of alternative energy companies, allowing customers to choose their preferred supplier.
The bill still has to be signed into law by the Virginian governor, but legislators have pointed out that if it is passed, electricity rates cannot be changed without the approval by the State Corporation Commission. A worrying factor for some, however, is the fact that the legislation also calls for the expiry date for rate caps is being brought forward from 2010 to 2008.