Lawmakers question removal of proposed refund in Dominion Energy merger

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Members of the legislative black caucus expressed their frustrations to general counsel with Dominion Energy.

The utility company was recently approved to merge with SCANA, which accrued billions of dollars in debt because of a failed nuclear plant.

Tuesday morning members of the legislative black caucus met with representatives from Dominion Energy in a heated discussion.

One of the main reasons lawmakers are unhappy with the deal is Dominion’s commercial, which lawmakers seemed to promise a $1000 refund to customers.

Representative John King was disappointed the CEO of the company was not present at the meeting.

“Why isn’t the CEO here? You all were here last year asking for our support. You were all here badgering us to approve this deal. You were badgering our constituents why isn’t he or she here.”

The merger was approved after 11 months of discussion and 3 weeks of hearings, but some lawmakers feel that merger was approved under false pretenses.

Representative Wendell Gilliard called for the energy company to be at the meeting. The Charleston lawmaker explained why he is concerned about that refund initially offered.

“Our constituents are calling. They’re beckoning us whatever you do we want that $1000 you make sure you make it happen because if these people come to South Carolina.

The original proposal included a $1000 refund for customers, but during the course of the hearing with the Public Service Commission another proposal was brought to the table that lowered utility rates but did not come with a refund.

“The reason we proffered an alternative plan was because after 11 months and after 3 weeks of trial at the PSC, 5 days a week, 10 hours a day, it became clear that Plan A was not going to be approved,” Carlos Brown, general counsel for Dominion Energy explained to the caucus members.

Lawmakers plan now to reevaluate the PSC, which is responsible for approving rate increases on customers to help SCANA offset its debt. The agency ultimately went with option B.

Gilliard added,” I’m not going to prolong, but they dropped the ball also. They have to share some of the responsibility.”

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