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Natural gas utility customers will see savings on monthly bills, city says

The cost for purchased natural gas (PGC) will decrease from its current $0.500 per 100 cubic feet (1 Ccf) to $0.425 per 100 cubic feet (1 Ccf), an estimated savings of $5.25 monthly to the average natural gas customer.

RVAHub Staff

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Beginning with January 2020 utility bills, Richmond Gas Works customers will see savings on their monthly natural gas bill. The cost for purchased natural gas (PGC) will decrease from its current $0.500 per 100 cubic feet (1 Ccf) to $0.425 per 100 cubic feet (1 Ccf), an estimated savings of $5.25 monthly to the average natural gas customer. At the date of this release other components of the natural gas bill – the distribution charge at $0.590 (per Ccf) and monthly customer charge at $13.87 – are unchanged.

The utility bill of the average residential customer who uses 70 Ccf’s of natural gas per month will be approximately $84.92 compared to a current bill of $90.17. This equates to a fifteen (15) percent reduction in the PGC rate charged by Richmond Gas Works and an overall six (6) percent reduction in the entire natural gas bill.

“This is good news for our customers,” said DPU Director Calvin D. Farr, Jr. We are always heartened when market conditions allow us to lower rates and pass on the savings. By law, we pass along the cost of natural gas purchased and delivered to customers, dollar for dollar, without any markup.” Utility analysts review the PGC on a monthly basis and make recommendations for adjustments as needed based on market and weather conditions and other related factors. At the time of this release, the Richmond Gas Works’ PGC rate is less than or equal to surrounding natural gas franchises.

Across all energy sectors (electricity, heating oil, propane), natural gas remains the most efficient and economical choice of fuel for home heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes drying.

The City offers free information and programs year-round to help customers manage their utility bills and seek assistance before bills become unmanageable. Utility customers are encouraged to enroll in the Equal Monthly Payment Plan (EMPP), a program designed to spread payments out evenly each month or to apply for the MetroCare Heat Program, a heating bill payment assistance program for those who qualify.  More information about EMPP and other programs is available here.

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General Assembly

Lobby Day 2021 Road Closures and Preparations

It’s a lobby day like no other. Here are the announced road closures.

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From RPD:

The Richmond Police Department is dedicated and committed to ensuring public safety before, during, and after Lobby Day 2021.

The Department is continuing to monitor activity in and around Richmond, as well as working with other law enforcement agencies. Operations and personnel are in place to address public safety needs.

In anticipation of events, signs prohibiting firearms will be placed throughout the city to inform those who may gather that firearms are prohibited at permitted events and events that would otherwise require a permit, as well as areas adjacent to such events.

Some signs are already up as of Wednesday afternoon.

We encourage the community to stay vigilant. If you see something, say something. Report any suspicious activity immediately by calling the non-emergency line at 804-646-5100 or 911 for emergencies.

If you live or work in the area surrounding Capitol Square and downtown, you should expect disruptions to your usual routines. Traffic will be impacted starting at 6 a.m. on Sunday, January 17 until 6 p.m. Monday, January 18.

The following roads will be closed during that time period:

  • 9th Street between E. Main Street and E. Broad Street
  • 10th Street between E. Cary Street and Bank Street
  • East Main Street between 14th Street and 9th Street
  • Bank Street between 14th Street and Governor Street
  • Franklin Street between 8th and 9th Streets
  • Franklin Street between 7th and 8th Streets
  • East Grace Street between 8th and 9th Streets
  • East Grace Street between 7th and 8th Streets
  • 12th Street between Cary Street and Bank Street
  • Monument Avenue between Meadow Street and Lombardy Street
  • Allen Avenue between W. Grace Street and Park Avenue

    *Additional roads may be closed temporarily as needed

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Government

Richmond health districts enter Phase B1 of COVID vaccinations, which includes first responders, teachers, other essential workers

First responders, corrections and homeless shelter workers, and teachers and school staff are among the essential workers eligible for the vaccination under phase 1B.

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The local health districts of the Richmond Metropolitan Area, which includes Chesterfield, Chickahominy, Henrico, and Richmond, will begin expanding their COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to include some Phase 1b frontline essential workers on Monday, January 18th.

Specifically, workers in the first three categories of ​Phase 1b​, will now be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines will be administered through a combination of regional mass vaccination events, as well as partnerships with various providers. Vaccination of ​Phase 1a populations​ will continue as the region opens up to Phase 1b.

“We know that the burden of this disease and the underlying social vulnerabilities that put these essential workers at risk do not end at the boundaries of our city and counties,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, Acting Director for Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. “It makes the most sense to coordinate our vaccination efforts and make sure all of our communities have access to the best tool we have to end the pandemic.”

The first three categories of Phase 1b frontline essential workers include:

  1. Police, Fire, and Hazmat
  2. Corrections and homeless shelter workers
  3. Childcare/PreK-12 Teachers/Staff

Individuals in these categories will start to have the opportunity to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at one of three large-scale regional vaccination clinics beginning next week.

“Many school teachers and staff in our jurisdictions have courageously shown up for in-person instruction throughout this pandemic in order to serve their students’ needs and to provide the best education possible. This vaccine offers a shield of protection and a beacon of hope for this group of essential workers,” says Dr. Tom Franck, Director of Chickahominy Health District.

Next week’s COVID-19 vaccination events are taking place in addition to each local health districts’ ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts for qualified individuals. Metro area districts are exploring ways to move deeper into the 1b vaccine eligible group as additional resources become available to distribute vaccine more broadly.

“VDH is continuing to work with pharmacies, hospital systems, and medical practices to establish the infrastructure to more quickly and effectively distribute available resources and vaccinate others who are part of 1b and beyond,” says Dr. Alex Samuel, Director of Chesterfield Health District.

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Crime

City of Richmond declares State of Emergency due to “credible threats” related to planned protests

The city’s declaration opens up funds for emergency use and was voted into effect unanimously by City Council Monday evening.

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The City of Richmond and Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration has declared a State of Emergency for the city due to what officials call “credible threats” of violence related to planned protests leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th.

The declaration follows Governor Ralph Northam’s declaration of a statewide State of Emergency, which allowed the administration to send National Guard troops and State Troopers to Washington, D.C. to help with security, logistics, and other immediate needs following the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

The city’s declaration opens up funds for emergency use and was voted into effect unanimously by City Council Monday evening.

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