The mission of the Energy Burden Coalition is to lower energy costs and rapidly transition our state to an affordable and clean energy system that prioritizes the interests of everyday Virginians.
Many Virginia families experience the energy burden, meaning they pay an unaffordable percentage (6% and above) of their income on their monthly energy bills. The EBC was formed to address this issue, first coming together in 2020 around a major piece of energy reform legislation. The Fair Energy Bills Act (HB 1132) was a bipartisan bill to restore regulators’ ability to review and set a fair and reasonable profit level for the largest electric providers in Virginia, Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company. If the bill had passed, Virginians would have received hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds from Dominion Energy after the utility overcharged customers by over $1.1 billion above its profit level. The bill was supported by a unique alliance of environmental, low-income, and consumer advocate nonprofit organizations that would become the Energy Burden Coalition, in addition to the Office of the Attorney General, Governor Ralph Northam’s administration,the Virginia Manufacturers Association, and others in the business community. Despite its broad base of support, a Senate committee fell short of passing the bill by only one vote.
The Energy Burden Coalition has four key priorities for the 2023 legislative session:
Restoring authority to regulators to reduce electric utility rates (SB1321/HB1604)
Creating more affordable and expansive shared solar programs (SB1266/SB1083)
Reforming excessive surcharges on electricity bills (SB1417/HB2267)
Preventing utility disconnections for Virginia's most vulnerable households (SB1447/HB2283)
Additional resources on the energy burden:
What is the energy burden?
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