Dominion Energy fails to address root cause of higher costs for customers
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Today, the South Carolina Public Service Commission approved an agreement that addresses Dominion’s attempt to pass fossil fuel costs to customers. With buy-in from all parties in the proceeding, the agreement reduces the initially proposed increase to residential customers’ bills from $18.55 per month to $7.87 per month.
“While we are pleased that the agreement lessens the financial burden on customers, we continue to urge the Commission to address the root cause of these increases: fossil fuel resources are risky and volatile, and Dominion hasn’t taken steps to protect customers from the associated costs,” said SELC Staff Attorney Kate Mixson. “As the Commission heard at the hearing, Dominion has failed to tap into cost-effective solar that would have mitigated recent fuel cost spikes and saved customers millions on monthly bills. Instead, Dominion is saddling customers with skyrocketing fuel costs at a time when South Carolinians are struggling to meet basic needs due to inflation and higher costs across the board.”
Currently, utilities are permitted to recover 100% of their fuel costs from customers. This arrangement means that customers, not the utility, feel the impacts of fuel cost volatility.
“It’s fiscally irresponsible for the utility to continue to rely on gas while solar and other renewables are cheap and getting cheaper,” said Maggie Shober, Research Director at Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Rather than investing in South Carolina’s future with cleaner, more affordable options, Dominion is effectively leaving new jobs and economic growth on the table by doubling down on fossil fuels. Customers will be forced to carry the burden of that choice.”
“We continue to believe that the risk of fuel cost fluctuations should be shared between Dominion and customers, rather than having customers always automatically pay 100% of the bill,” said Eddy Moore, Energy Program Director at the Coastal Conservation League. “That way Dominion will have a reason to steer away from these large risky costs.”
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 www.coastalconservationleague.org.
Since 1985, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has worked to promote responsible and equitable energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at cleanenergy.org.