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Dominion Energy customers could start paying more starting Nov. 1, here's why.

If approved, the average monthly bill would rise $18.55.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dominion Energy's South Carolina customers could see another increase in their bills starting Nov. 1. 

Dominion Energy South Carolina is asking the State's Public Service Commission to approve a 13.97% increase to its electricity rate. 

If approved, the monthly bill of a residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would increase by $18.55. A monthly bill would go from about $132 to $151. 

The commission already approved a 5.19% increase in April. 

When fuel costs fluctuate, state law allows utility companies to pass on those expenses to customers. 

According to Dominion Energy, the cost of natural gas more than doubled since the last fuel cost adjustment. 

RELATED: Dominion Energy customers could start paying more starting May 1, here's why.

In a statement to News19, a spokesperson said: 

"The company has requested a mid-period adjustment so that our customers see the lowest possible increase to their bills as we recover costs of purchasing and transporting fuel to produce the electricity they rely on every day. These fuel costs are a direct pass-through to customers – Dominion Energy does not earn a profit on this portion of electric rates. We encourage customers to contact us if they need payment assistance."

For people having difficulty paying their bills now, Dominion said there is $250 million available in state and federal utility assistance programs. Dominion also said there is $1 million left in their assistance program called EnergyShare.

In its application to the commission, the company argued the rate increase now will hold off the need for a bigger increase in 2023 of about 27%. 

Advocates like Rebecca Haynes with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina said customers are already paying more than they can afford. 

"One in three households in South Carolina cannot afford their energy bill. And that is a problem," said Haynes.

She pointed to the state's reliance on fossil fuels as a reason why.  

"So, as that becomes a volatile commodity, how are we looking at changing the way we get energy to customers at South Carolina?" said Haynes. 

Customers can file a letter of protest against the rate hike on the Public Service Commission website.

RELATED: How to report a power outage in South Carolina

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