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Hey Costco, going solar can help you beat Dominion Energy

June 5th, 2019 | By Roger Kuznia

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Costco is the latest business seeking the ability to pool its stores together to take advantage of a Virginia law that lets industrial customers who use over five megawatts of electricity to shop on outside markets. Walmart, Kroger, Target, Harris Teeter, and Cox Communications have also sought to aggregate stores so that they can take advantage of alternative sources of energy.

The state’s utilities commission told Costco no, saying that doing so would punish smaller industrial customers who may not have stores to aggregate and force additional costs onto those customers. Walmart was denied in February, and the other requests will most likely fail as well. For now, Dominion Energy will keep its monopoly on providing power to its Virginia customers.

But the tide may be turning. A surprising twist in the commission’s ruling indicated that the complaints against Dominion have merit, and that these companies should pursue changes via the state legislature if they want to rewrite the playbook.

It is also noteworthy that this rush of challenges comes at a time when Dominion has come under fire for its influence in the state’s general assembly, creating the perfect storm of conditions for potential change.

Democrats are willing to take up this fight, according to The Washington Post’s Gregory S. Schneider. If they can win majorities in both Virginia houses this fall, next year they’ll be able to push for reconsideration how the state supervises its energy providers. Virginia delegate Mark L. Keam (D-Fairfax) told The Washington Post: “I’d like to revisit this whole area. There’s absolutely an appetite for it. Whatever changes we make really have to be about offering more [consumer] choices.”

In addition, a slew of major technology companies including Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and Amazon wrote to the State Corporation Commission about Dominion’s continued development of its natural gas infrastructure rather than migrating to renewable energy sources. Dominion contends that it has ambitious goals for cleaner energy production and expects a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2050.

But the pressure for change doesn’t stop there. A politically diverse group has formed the Virginia Energy Reform Coalition to “reform Virginia’s current regulation of monopoly electric utilities,” including Appalachian Power in southwest Virginia. The coalition seeks more choices for energy consumers and clean energy competition.

Solar power for businesses and homes

While it’s currently not possible for businesses such as Costco and Walmart to leave Dominion Energy, we would offer a reminder to these companies that going solar with Pink Energy is a way to limit the amount they pay to Dominion Energy. Solar energy systems offset the amount of electricity these businesses use, allowing businesses to own and consume the power they generate and therefore significantly reduce their electric bills.

Pink Energy offers the choice of power that businesses of every size are asking for, and Virginia is among the seven states where we work. Pink Energy also offers homeowners this same choice in power. If you are interested in solar power for your business, call us at (877) 4-GO-Pink, and we would be happy to help you. For homeowners interested in solar, contact Pink Energy today and get the process started.

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