The Virginia Energy Purchasing Governmental Association (VEPGA) is a joint powers association created in 2002 pursuant to authority provided in the Virginia Code. VEPGA negotiates multi-year electricity contracts with Dominion Energy on behalf of its members. VEPGA also keeps its members informed of energy developments in Virginia and offers opportunities for members across the Dominion service area to collectively promote their interests and learn from each other. VEPGA’s membership includes over 170 Virginia local governments, public school systems, authorities, and other governmental entities. VEPGA is governed by a Board of Directors elected by its members.
In the 1970s, following the rate shocks of the energy crisis, local governments in the service territory of Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO, now known as Dominion Energy) formed a Steering Committee to collectively negotiate electric power rates and terms and conditions of service with Dominion Energy. This Steering Committee was jointly sponsored by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo).
For more than two decades, the VML/VACo Steering Committee negotiated multi-year electric contracts with Dominion Energy that included rates based on cost of service as well as terms and conditions reflective of government needs. In furtherance of the Steering Committee’s efforts, local jurisdictions shared legal, consulting, and administrative costs.
The VML/VACo Steering Committee formally organized in 2002 as VEPGA, following state deregulation legislation passed in 1999. This change in status ensured that VEPGA would be empowered to negotiate and contract on behalf of its members in the competitive markets that were anticipated as a result of the 1999 deregulation legislation. Competitive markets did not emerge, however, as the General Assembly changed course in 2007 and largely abandoned deregulation, replacing it with a unique form of re-regulation for Dominion Energy.
Despite the changed regulatory framework, VEPGA continues to negotiate and contract for electricity services on behalf of its members. It also monitors state regulatory and legislative developments and maintains several committees to advance its members’ interests. One committee, the Joint Action Committee, is formally recognized in the Dominion/VEPGA contract and serves to identify and resolve operational issues, including those involving construction and streetlighting. Other VEPGA committees include the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee, which educates members about topics including best practices and emerging technologies, and the Innovative Supply Side Initiatives committee, which researches alternative energy options that may be of interest to VEPGA members.