Press Release | August 31, 2023

Dominion Energy doubles down on fossil fuels in long term plan

Utility’s resource plan leaves federal clean energy dollars on the table

COLUMBIA, S.C. — This week, the South Carolina Public Service Commission heard public testimony regarding Dominion Energy South Carolina’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Several environmental organizations have intervened to recommend clean energy alternatives to Dominion’s plan after reviewing their proposed energy portfolio that relies heavily on fossil fuels.

“In a time when gas prices have driven up rates about 18% in the past year, it’s beyond us why Dominion would want to get more than half its future energy from natural gas,” said Kate Mixson, SELC Senior Attorney. “South Carolina ratepayers are still rebuilding trust with their utilities and struggling with bills – we need our utilities to buy in to clean, cheap and reliable energy sources.”

“Integrated resource plans” serve as roadmaps showing proposed power sources companies plan to invest in in the future. Dominion’s plan proposes a new major gas plant, delays coal retirements, and fails to take advantage of federal energy credits for utilities looking to invest in abundant clean energy.

“We are consistently dealing with more fossil-fueled extreme heat, and that is driving our energy bills up,” said Ben Garris, Public Utility Analyst for the Coastal Conservation League. “The best path forward to lower our bills is making smart investments in clean energy. Maintaining the fossil fuel status quo by keeping coal online and investing in new gas is irresponsible and expensive.”

The public hearing was set in response to multiple requests from Dominion customers for an opportunity to provide input on the utility’s plan. While customers can always file comments in Commission dockets, this is the first time the commission provided an opportunity for the public to present testimony on the integrated resource plan.

Public comments were largely critical of the plan, and ratepayers voiced concerns over the new gas plant, increasingly severe weather in a warming climate, and bill hikes.

“Dominion Energy’s IRP calls for a major new gas plant, in 2023, that’s a lot like investing in a lead paint factory,” said Dominion ratepayer Belvin Olasov. Cassandra Fralix, another Dominion customer, said, “Gas prices are volatile and unpredictable. Bills have increased 18% since May 2022. This is a very serious matter, and a lot lies in your hands.”

During an evidentiary hearing following the public hearing, SELC, on behalf of the Coastal Conservation League and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, presented evidence from expert witnesses recommending that the Commission reject Dominion’s proposed plan and require the utility to invest more in abundant, clean energy.

“Ratepayers in the South pay some of the highest energy bills in the country, and with more extreme heat driving up monthly bills everyone is looking for relief,” said Forest Bradley-Wright, Energy Efficiency Director at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Instead of prioritizing clean energy generation and energy efficiency programs to lower customer bills, Dominion wants to extend our reliance on expensive and outdated coal and fossil gas power plants.”

Since 1989, the Coastal Conservation League has worked to protect the health of the natural resources of the South Carolina coastal plain and ensure a high quality of life for all of the people who live in and love this special place. The Coastal Conservation League is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Learn more and get involved at

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.

Press Contacts

Rachel Chu

Communications Manager (SC)

Phone: 843-720-5270
Email: [email protected]

Partner Contacts

Lily Abromeit

Coastal Conservation League

Phone: 843-972-3491
Email: [email protected]