A 400-page report by Virginia State Corporation Commission staff concludes that Virginia's best interest will be served by a slow and carefully analyzed move toward electric utility competition, rather than by immediate, massive restructuring. As a low-cost electricity state, Virginia has little to gain, the report notes, from taking the lead in the restructuring movement.
After focusing its investigation on competitive issues that would affect service reliability, cost, and logistics, the commission staff recommended eliminating cross-subsidies among electric classes, unbundling prices for all utility services, and monitoring competitive experiments in other states. The staff expects that utilities and "high-cost" nonutility generators will renegotiate contracts to lower costs, but will make sure that utilities do not use their monopoly status to compete unfairly. The report also recommends increasing periodic monitoring of utility service quality.
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