RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A bipartisan push to more closely regulate the rates Dominion and other power utilities charge is set to succeed, giving the state the power to cap excessive rates that pad the companies’ bottom lines.

SB 1321 and HB 1604 are identical bills that have so far won universal bipartisan support. In effect, they would empower the State Corporation Commission, which oversees public utilities, to enforce rate cuts when utilities’ “rate of return” — essentially their profit margin — is higher than that allowed by law.

In principle, Dominion and other power companies like Appalachian Power agree to limit the profits they reap from Virginia customers in exchange for their state-sanctioned monopolies. But over the past few years, Dominion in particular has been forced to pay hundreds of millions in refunds after it was found that they exceeded their legally-permitted rate of return.

“The Affordable Energy Act would be a major win for consumers, helping to prevent Virginians from being overcharged on their energy bills,” said Senator Jennifer McClellan (D – Richmond), patron of the senate version of the bill.

The senate unanimously passed the bill on Feb.2. While the full House of Delegates has yet to consider the bill, on the same day it passed the senate, a House committee unanimously endorsed it.

Delegate R. Lee Ware (R – Powhatan) presented the bill to the committee, saying it would “protect utility ratepayers by restoring full and unalloyed review authority to the State Corporation Commission.”

During public testimony, it also drew support from groups across the political spectrum, including representatives of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Appalachian Voices and Americans for Prosperity.

No representative of Dominion made an appearance at that hearing or hearings on the bill in the senate.

At the same time, lawmakers have squashed efforts to reign in dominion’s political spending, with legislators from both parties voting down a proposal that has won the support of both progressive Democrats and the Youngkin administration.