McMaster calls on Dominion Energy to withdraw rate hike request

VIDEO: McMaster calls on Dominion Energy to withdraw rate hike request

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster Tuesday asked Dominion Energy to drop a request for a 7.7% rate hike for South Carolina customers.

In a letter to the utility’s top state executive, Rodney Blevins, McMaster said the rate increase was “ill-timed while customers are struggling ‘to keep their lights on’ during the COVID-19 pandemic,’” a release from the governor’s office states.

“A sizable rate increase at this difficult time would impose an unexpected and untenable burden on many South Carolinians,” McMaster said. “I simply cannot support Dominion’s application to increase its rates as South Carolinians continue to confront myriad challenges related to COVID-19.”

Dominion Energy spokesman Paul Fischer provided the following statement on behalf of the company Tuesday afternoon:

We take seriously the concerns that the governor expressed. We recognize that there may never be an ideal time to request a rate review. We have been helping our customers who are struggling financially through the pandemic. Our customers also count on us to keep the electricity flowing safely and reliably, and we made our filing to continue to meet this obligation. We welcome the opportunity to work with parties for the purpose of identifying contested issues on which we may find agreement as well as discussing appropriate compromises.

You can read McMaster’s letter here:

In August, Dominion filed an application with the state’s Public Service Commission to increase power rates by 7.7% on approximately 753,000 South Carolina customers.

Dominion is also seeking a 10.25% allowed rate of profit.

McMaster also said that if Dominion does not withdraw its request, he will ask the PSC to reject Dominion’s application in its current form.

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