By 2050 Virginia’s transition to wind and solar power under the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) could add almost $200 a month on average to a residential electric bill. Previous estimates of the consumer cost of dumping all fossil fuels from power generation have focused on the next ten years or so, but a new analysis looks beyond that to the actual deadline for the completed conversion.
Commercial and industrial customers would see comparable explosions in cost. These projections are far higher than those prepared by our own State Corporation Commission for two reasons: the SCC estimates do not cover the later years when the utilities must reach full compliance, and therefore do not include all the coming new investments into the late 2030s and 2040s.
The Center of the American Experiment in Minnesota, which has looked at similar proposals around the country, estimates that Virginia energy ratepayers of all classes will need to pay out an extra $203 billion over two and a half decades, close to half of it the utility profit margin on the massive new solar, wind, battery and related transmission facilities.
The Virginia General Assembly is currently considering either repealing or amending the 2020 VCEA, which dictated that Virginia’s major electric utilities must eventually stop using coal, natural gas or other fuels that emit carbon dioxide.