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Settlement reached in Dominion Energy’s rate case



COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A settlement has been reached in Dominion Energy’s electricity tariffs case, South Carolina officials say.

The settlement, filed Friday morning in Columbia, would include a 1.46% increase in rates for residential customers effective Sept. 1.

The settlement is the result of “months of good faith negotiations,” said a statement from the Office of Regulatory Personnel. Officials say the regulation will provide “significant benefits to customers while ensuring the continued supply of affordable, reliable and increasingly sustainable energy.”

“We believe the negotiations resulted in a well-balanced and creative resolution containing consumer-friendly measures that otherwise would not be available through a formal process,” said Carri Grube Lybarker, spokesperson for the Consumer Affairs Ministry. Caroline from the south.

If the PSC passes the regulation, a typical residential customer will see their bill increase by about $ 1.81 per month, the statement said.

Dominion Energy is also committed to providing up to $ 30 million in shareholder funds to support vulnerable and economically struggling customers at no cost to taxpayers, the release said.

This support would be provided as follows:

  • Up to $ 15 million will be used to cancel overdue balances over 60 days, effective May 31, 2021. All customers are eligible to participate. Customer credits would take place within 90 days of a final PSC order.
  • $ 15 million will be spent on energy efficiency upgrades and essential health and safety repairs in customers’ homes, allowing those homes to participate in the company’s energy efficiency programs. The funds will be administered by the South Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity, which also manages federal weatherization programs.
  • DESC has agreed to double its annual commitment to EnergyShare, the company’s year-round aid program, setting funding at $ 1.5 million for 2021 and 2022. This includes $ 500,000 for small businesses, a new advantage offered by the program. EnergyShare provides bill payment assistance for customers in need and home improvements that promote energy conservation.
  • DESC has also agreed to keep its fixed monthly fees below $ 10. The current fee is $ 9 and the settlement fee is $ 9.50. Any further increase will depend on the amount of electricity used by the customer. Keeping fixed costs low helps customers manage their bills and encourages energy conservation efforts.

If approved, the settlement would result in a net annual increase in revenue of approximately $ 25.6 million, based on a return on equity of 9.5%, capitalization of 51.62% and a rate base of $ 5.75 billion.

The company had requested a revenue increase of $ 178 million and a return on equity of 10.25%.

Dominion Energy South Carolina President Rodney Blevins said the settlement was an achievement all parties could be proud of.

“I would like to thank the Commission for putting the procedure on hold and for encouraging all parties to work to reach consensus,” said Blevins. “Reaching consensus on a comprehensive settlement with all parties is a remarkable achievement and confirms that groups with diverse interests can still come to agreement on issues important to the regulation of utilities in this state while keeping our tariffs below. of the national average. We are sincerely grateful to all parties for the spirit of cooperation, patience and compromise they have shown in these negotiations.

The company has agreed not to file another general tariff case for two years, barring unforeseen circumstances.

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