Dominion requests rate increase

Dominion Energy South Carolina has filed with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina an application requesting an overall 7.75 percent increase to its retail electric rates. The requested adjustment equates to an increase of less than 1 percent per year for the typical customer since base rates were last adjusted in 2012.

“Our customers count on us to keep the electricity flowing safely, reliably and efficiently,” said Rodney Blevins, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “It is an obligation we take seriously every day. An adjustment to rates is critical to our company’s ability to continue to meet this obligation and expectation.”

If approved, the bill of a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month would be about $131.99 per month. This would be an increase of $9.68 per month, on average. It is expected that the commission will conduct a public hearing on the request in January 2021. If approved, new rates would be effective in March 2021.

Dominion Energy South Carolina has invested around $3.2 billion since its last rate case in the system necessary to provide safe, reliable and economical delivery of electric service to its customers, including more than 80,000 new customers. This includes:

• More than $2.1 billion in expansions and improvement to its electric transmission and distribution system.
• About $878 million in upgrades and environmental controls for its electric generation stations.
• About $198 million in technology and equipment to better serve its customers and enhance system security.

Additionally, the requested increase includes expenses from prior years that were deferred for consideration until this proceeding, including storm response and restoration expenses.

The savings realized as a result of the merger in January 2019 have reduced annual operating costs by more than $45 million. This amount is reflected in the proposed rate adjustment, reducing the amount of the requested increase.

“This rate request is the first increase sought for retail base electric rates in more than eight years, and it reflects the work we have done to operate even more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before,” Blevins said.