Dominion wants to cash in on you
you can bet that Dominion Energy’s bean counters were staying up late. They had to figure out how much the Virginia utility could afford to pay for hapless Lexington County-based SC Electric & Gas, or even if it was worth it at any price.
The company had just wasted $5 billion as partners in a $9 billion nuclear power fiasco.
The company had lost its credibility with lawmakers, regulators and the public. And its investors were selling their stock as it plummeted in value from $70 a share to less than $45.
On the books was a hidden asset. SCE&G had zoomed its electric rates to the highest in the nation with the aid of gullible state lawmakers. But it had not had an operational rate increase in many years.
Besides $2.3 billion they were to get from ratepayers over the next 20 years to pay SCE&G’s nuclear debt, the money sitting out there waiting to be collected was an asset on SCE&G’s books.
Now Dominion is ready to cash it in next March. That will cost you and other ratepayers about $120 a year more.
It says its justification is that:
• Its requested base rate increase is its 1st in 8 years
• It cut $45 million in annual operating costs while improving customer service and reliability
• Current rates do not reflect the true cost of serving the region’s growing customer base.
It wants the Public Disservice Commission to rubber stamp a 7.75% rate increase as the PSC did for SCE&G for years.
That is a little more than half the 15% rate cut Dominion had to give ratepayers 3 years ago.
If approved, a residential ratepayer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month will pay about $131.99 a month.
This is about $9.68 more a month while thousands are out of work in this pandemic.
Now Duke Energy wants an increase because it says it is losing money on customers who can’t pay their bills.
This is life in a regulated monopoly system. Are you ready for a competitive, deregulated utility system to lower rates?
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