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Virginia regulators to host hearing on power grid plan

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s regulators want to hear from the public on Dominion Energy’s more than $3 billion plan to upgrade the state’s electric grid over the next decade.
The State Corporation Commission said Monday that it will have a hearing open to public comment in January on plans by the state’s largest electric monopoly.
Those include plans to deploy smart meters at all customer locations. Smart meters are wireless digital devices that relay electricity consumption information directly to utilities. Dominion is proposing that customers who opt out pay a one-time fee of $85 and an ongoing $29 monthly fee.
Utilities say smart meters help improve service reliability and support the use of renewable energy sources. But some utility customers in other states have raised privacy and health concerns related to smart meters.