Dominion Energy South Carolina, South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, Intervenors File Comprehensive Settlement of General Electric Rate Case for Approval by Public Service Commission of South Carolina
A cooperative approach among parties balances stakeholder interests and ensures reliable, affordable, and increasingly sustainable energy delivery.
Significant proposed customer benefits include arrears forgiveness, energy efficiency, bill assistance.
No change to Dominion Energy’s existing financial guidance
CAYCE, SC (STL.News) Dominion Energy South Carolina (DESC), a subsidiary of Dominion Energy, Inc. (NYSE: D), together with the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), today submitted a comprehensive settlement in the pending general electric rate case for approval by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (Commission). The settlement agreement is supported by all intervenors. DESC, the ORS, and intervening parties have engaged over the past six months to produce this agreement, at the direction of the Commission, balancing stakeholders’ interests and supporting DESC’s ability to continue providing safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly sustainable energy.
“This settlement shows that we’re listening to our customers and key stakeholders – an approach we’ve embraced since we began operating in South Carolina,” said Rodney Blevins, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “We’re pleased to support the filed settlement and move forward. We’re focused on continuing to provide exceptional value and reliability to our customers, meet 100% of our merger commitments, and promote the future prosperity of South Carolina.”
Blevins continued, “We are sincerely grateful to all parties for the spirit of cooperation, patience, and compromise that they brought to these negotiations.”
Key components of the settlement, which requires Commission approval, provide significant customer benefits:
- Starting Sept. 1, typical residential customer monthly bills would increase by a net 1.46% — a level that ensures residential rates remain below the national average — driven in part by an acceleration of return of excess deferred income taxes.
- Initiation of a stakeholder process to propose an electricity affordability program for low-income customers.
In addition, per the settlement agreement and contingent upon Commission approval, DESC has agreed to:
- Commit up to $15 million in shareholder funds to forgive past due balances of more than 60 days, as of May 31, 2021. All DESC customers are eligible to participate.
- Customer credits would take place within 90 days of a final Commission order.
- Allocate $15 million in shareholder funds to energy efficiency upgrades and critical health and safety repairs to customer homes, which will allow those homes to participate in money-saving efficiency programs.
- Double the annual commitment to EnergyShare, the company’s year-round assistance program, to $1.5 million in each of the next two years. This includes $500,000 for small business customers to participate in the program, a new benefit.
The proposed settlement also supports:
- An authorized return on common equity of 9.5%.
- A regulatory capital structure of 51.62% equity and 48.38% debt.
- A revenue increase of $61.6 million (representing a net revenue increase of $35.6 million after accounting for accelerated return of excess deferred income taxes).
- A rate base of approximately $5.8 billion.
There is no change to Dominion Energy’s existing financial guidance. DESC has agreed not to file an electric general rate case prior to July 1, 2023, absent unforeseen extraordinary economic or financial conditions that may include changes in corporate tax rates.
The filed settlement is available on the Commission’s website under the Docket number 2020-125-E. The parties have proposed using the hearing currently scheduled for July 12, 2021, to provide the Commission opportunity to question the parties with regard to the settlement. A final decision by the Commission is expected later this summer.