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Report: Dominion Energy seeking rate increase in S.C.

Times & Democrat

Jul. 15--Dominion Energy South Carolina is seeking a rate increase for its South Carolina customers, The Post and Courier of Charleston reports.

The Virginia-based utility will apply to state utility regulators for a rate hike as early as next month.

Details of the request, including how much the utility wants to charge its 722,000 customers for electricity, were not included in a letter the company filed with the S.C. Public Service Commission on Monday. They will become public when Dominion files its proposal, as early as Aug. 14.

But the proposed hike is expected to be significant, according to the Post and Courier report. The utility could seek to charge customers for up to eight years' worth of unrecovered investments and higher operating costs, dating back to when the utility was known as South Carolina Electric and Gas.

Dominion will be asking customers to pay more money for electricity during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying recesssion, which delayed its request from April.

In a statement Monday, Dominion spokeswoman Rhonda O'Banion said the company's request is critical to maintaining electric service and reliability. She said the utility has been "working hard to make sure that our request for a rate review has the least impact possible on customers."

"We recognize that there may never be an ideal time to request a rate review," she said in a written statement. "We have been doing all that we can to help our customers who are struggling financially through the pandemic. No matter the circumstances, our customers continue to count on us to keep the electricity flowing -- now more than ever."

The rate hike request is not expected to cover any costs related to the V.C. Summer project, aside from the transmission lines that were built to carry power from the Midlands site, according to The Post and Courier.

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