New energy bills will not benefit everyone

The Virginia General Assembly passed two bills last month that could reduce electricity costs for residents of the Commonwealth.

But for Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) customers’ rates are already kept low therefore those customers will not be affected by the new laws.

These bills, known as the “Affordable Energy Act” (Senate Bill 1321 and House Bill 1604), allow the State Corporation Commission to modify base rates when it is determined that utilities are earning above their set rate of return.

SB 1321 will help establish more accurate electricity prices and protect Virginians from being overcharged on their electric bills by restoring the State Corporation Commission’s ability to reduce rates when an electric utility earns more than its authorized profit.

According to the bill this ensures that, through the bills, the base rates are “just and responsible” and that the utility is able to earn a “fair rate of return.”

For SEC customers, keeping rates as low as possible is something SEC officials say they understand that saving money on electric costs is especially important in today’s world where everyday items are increasing due to inflation.

“One of the benefits of being a member of SEC is that we are not-for-profit, and our members receive the benefit of electricity at cost, keeping rates as affordable as possible, and providing the State Corporation Commission with the assurance that electric cooperatives will set rates in the best interest of its members..” said SEC officials in a Monday interview.

According to SEC, the company has organized energy efficiency community workshops to assist members in reducing their energy bills and they supply members with ways to be more energy efficient on their website.

To learn more about ways to save on energy costs as an SEC member visit https://www.sec.coop/waystosave.