(WVEC) -- The snow may be gone but Hampton Roads will feel its impacts for some time, specifically in the wallet. Dominion Energy said energy prices will be going up.
“People were staying inside more and using a lot more electricity so we’re expecting to see higher bills,” said Dominion Energy Spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris.
Dominion Energy said prices didn’t spike because of a shortage of natural gas, but rather a transportation issue. The company is renewing its push for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, citing the high energy bills as proof.
“The current pipelines are overtaxed, they’re stretched thin,” said Harris. “When the weather gets cold like this we feel the impact.”
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would transport natural gas, running 600 miles underground starting in West Virginia, through Suffolk and Chesapeake and into North Carolina. However, there are opponents to the pipeline, with some homeowners worried it will contaminate their water.
Quan Baker, Hampton Roads Organizer for the Chesapeake Climate Action, said she's not buying Dominion Energy’s additional reason for the pipeline.
“Pipelines are known to leak,” said Baker. “It makes me feel like that they’ll say anything to do what they want to do.”
Chesapeake Climate Action Executive Director Mike Tidwell stated there will be environmental impacts from the pipeline, like causing “irrevocable harm to the region’s environmental resources.”
In response to critics, Harris reaffirmed the company’s position.
“We understand there's strong feelings and we want to make sure everyone's voices are heard but there are facts that support the need for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the extreme cold weather that we've experienced and the record high prices of natural gas reinforce that,” said Harris.