Virginia Electric and Power Co. filed today a detailed new rate schedule that will push typical utility bills for all electric homes to more than $200 in winter months and about $165 in the summer.
The new rate schedule implements a $148 million revenue increase recently approved for the state's largest utility by the State Corporation Commission.
Vepco said the average increase in residential bills will be 8.3 percent above current bills or almost 17 percent above rates in effect before a temporary surcharge was approved by the SCC last June 6.
For all-electric homes using 6,000 kilowatt hours of electricity during a winter heating month and 3,000 kilowatt hours during a summer air conditioning month. Vepco data shows the following increases in bills from last year to the new charges that will become effective on Sunday:
Winter-$179.68 a year ago $194.90 currently and $205.30 under the new rates.
Summer-$141.98 a year ago, $154.01 currently and $164.60 under the new rates.
For typical Northern Virginia residential customers with a mix of electrical appliances and gas or oil heat, the bill for 1,500 kilowatt hours a month has grown as follows:
Winter-$57.99 a year ago, $62.90 currently and $69.94 under the new rates.
Summer-$71.13 a year ago, $77.16 currently and $84.25 under the new rates.
The rate request came as Vepco officials prepared to meet next week with officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a Boston engineering firm to determine how soon the company's Surry nuclear power plant can be reopened.
Earlier this month, the Surry generating facility and other plants around the country were closed by the NRC when it found that computer codes used to design earthquake resistance for cooling system piping were in error. The NRC expressed fears that the flaws might cause the pipes carrying coolant to the nuclear units to rupture during an earthquake.
One of the Surry units, however, already had been shut down before the NRC order because steam generators needed to be replaced.
A spokesman for Stone & Webster, the Boston firm blamed for computer errors, said yesterday that the company, along with Vepco and the NRC, still are trying to determine what information is needed in its analyses. Employes are working seven days a week, 20 hours a day, to assess the situation, the spokesman added.
Vepco estimated this month that it will spend $10 million more a month to generate power because of the Surry shutdown. If interim operation is not approved, Vepco said it may not be able to purchase enough replacement power from neighboring utilities to make up for the loss of the Surry plant, particularly in peak summer periods.