COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) began hosting a series of virtual hearings on Monday, Nov. 9, in order for the public to offer comments related to Dominion Energy South Carolina, Inc.'s (DESC) request for rate adjustments to retail energy customers (Docket No. 2020-125-E). The virtual meetings continue Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 10 and 12.
These virtual hearings will begin at 6 p.m. and Dominion Energy customers are encouraged to register their thoughts on the company's proposed rate increase, which will go into effect in March of 2021, if approved by the PSC.
On August 14, 2020, DESC filed an application with the PSC seeking a rate adjustment for electric services. According to the Application, the proposed rates and charges represent an overall increase in revenues of approximately $178 million or 7.75%.
According to DESC, the rate change would mean a customer with 1000 kWh per month (Before Tax Rider) that currently pays $126.18 would pay a proposed $131.99 -- an increase of $5.81.
Also in the filing with the PSC, "DESC has not sought a rate increase for base electric rates since 2012 exclusive of changes in the fuel component and the recovery of costs and revenues associated with demand side management and energy efficiency programs and other rider-based charges. Since that time, DESC states in its Application that it has made continued investments in assets and operating resources required to serve an expanding customer base; to maintain the safety, reliability, and efficiency of its system; and to meet increasingly stringent reliability, security and environmental requirements. The Application also states the Company has experienced an increase in depreciation expense and property taxes associated with these investments. Also, the Application states that since the close of the prior test year, more than eight years ago, DESC’s costs of providing retail electric service to its customers have increased. The Application also states the Consumer Price Index, as issued by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows producer prices have increased by approximately 14% since the close of the prior test year. As a result of these and other changes, which are set out in more detail in the Application, DESC states its current rates and charges are not sufficient to allow the Company a reasonable opportunity to recover its actual cost of providing electric service to customers including the cost of the debt and equity capital invested in the electric system."
Although the deadline has passed to participate in the meetings (pre-registration deadline was before 3:00 p.m. Monday, November 9), you can listen to the Public Night Hearings by dialing 800-786-6104. Alternatively, you can watch all PSC proceedings, including the night hearings, on its Livestream @ https://www.scetv.org/live/public-service-commission.