RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dominion has gotten final approval for a price hike that has Virginia residents paying an average of $15 more a month for electricity.

Dominion already raised prices in July on a provisional basis, but the new rate hike is now semi-permanent and will stay in effect until at least three years.

The rate hike is designed to adjust for a $1 billion “fuel deferral,” which will protect Dominion’s profits from being impacted by the rapid rise in fuel costs earlier this year, but allow them to spread that cost over a period of years for residents.

In a statement, the state regulatory commission wrote that they had no choice but to approve the rate hike, despite the impact it would have on residents.

“We are sensitive to the effects of rate increases, especially in times such as these,” the SCC wrote. “The Commission, however, must follow the laws applicable to this case.”