PSC votes to approve SCANA-Dominion merger; protests erupt

PSC votes to approve SCANA-Dominion merger; protests erupt

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -Commissioners have voted to approve the merger between SCANA and Dominion energy.

Protests erupted immediately after the Public Service Commission made a motion to approve, and several SCE&G customers stood up and chanted before walking out.

Commissioners have listened to weeks of testimony as they came to today’s, and unanimously they voted the merger as the “best path forward.”

With this Dominion merger, known as Plan B-L, officials say customers will be on the hook for $2.3 billion in costs for the VC Summer nuclear abandonment. You also won’t be getting that $1000 refund check that Dominion advertised for months.

Representatives from Dominion say that’ll be put towards keeping your rates lower for a longer period of time.

In this proposal, the average customer who uses 1000 kilowatt hours per month will be paying about $125.26 on their bills. That’s just the average rate with the abandonment costs included, that does not mean that your rates won’t fluctuate based on other factors. The current temporary experimental rate customers are paying is $125.34. In May, the average monthly bill was $147.70.

Dominion Energy reps say they look forward to seeing the commission’s final order when it’s issued, but customers were not pleased with the process, or the outcome.

“Over about 20 years, the average ratepayer, the average customer, will pay a little under $700 over that 20 years for the NND portion of their bills for the abandoned reactors at VC Summer,” said Ryan Frazier of Dominion Energy.

Many SCE&G customers at the hearing say they’re not happy with the decision, and have voiced concerns about Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline which is a natural gas pipeline that runs through several states.

“They’re going to do what the hell they want to,” one customer said. “They’re going to come in here and run a gas line, and they’re going to take the property to do it. They say now, ‘Oh, we’re not going to do a gas line.’ But they’re going to do a gas line, you watch.”

A part of this agreement is to keep SCE&G’s headquarters in Cayce unless otherwise approved by the commission. The commission said that Dominion has committed to giving an extra $1 million to the community for at least five years, on top of SCE&G’s usual involvement.

Dominion says they’ve committed to minimizing “reductions in local employment.”

Commissioners will write up their final order for this plan, and present it by December 21st.

To take a look at the commissions full directive, click here.

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