Dominion amends alternate SCANA proposal.

PositionDominion Energy

Dominion Energy has filed a revision to its alternative proposal to acquire SCANA Corp. that the Virginia-based company says will lower bills paid by the average S.C. Electric & Gas customer to rates slightly below those established after a temporary 15% rate reduction took effect in August.

In afiling with S.C. Public Service Commission, Prabir Purohit, Dominion's director of mergers and acquisitions and financial analysis, detailed a "levelized plan" that would provide more than $2 billion in refunds over a 20-year recovery period. The plan would refund approximately $1.032 billion to customers over those 20 years, with another $1.007 billion going to refund money already collected by SCE&G from its 730,000 customers under the Base Load Review Act.

The BLRA is a 2007 state law Cayce-based SCE&G parent company SCANA used to request and receive nine rate increases related to the construction of now-abandoned twin nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Station in Fairfield County. SCE&G and project co-owner Santee Cooper poured $9 billion into the decades-long construction of the reactors, with SCE&G collecting $2 billion in project-related costs from its ratepayers, before abandoning the project in July 2017 after a series of rising costs and mounting delays and three months after contractor Westinghouse declared bankruptcy.

Under terms of the revision, SCE&G would establish a regulatory liability for refunds of money previously collected to be credited to customers over 11 years.

Tables included in today's filing show that the revision, inclusive of project costs amortization and refunds from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017, would lower the average SCE&G customer's bill to $125.26 a month. That would be just below the current monthly bill average of $125.34 and represent a reduction of approximately 15% from May 2017, when the average SCE&G ratepayer shelled out $147.53. That was before the S.C. Legislature and the PSC ordered a temporary 15% rate reduction in June as part of a new law that also repealed the BLRA and strengthened the regulatory powers of the PSC and the Office of Regulatory Staff.

The PSC is conducting evidentiary hearings, which began Nov. 1, to establish a permanent rate for SCE&G customers and to issue a ruling on the fate of the proposed $14.6 billion SCANA/Dominion merger.

In January, Dominion proposed a deal that would cut SCE&G bills by 7% and give customers an average upfront refund of $1,000...

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