VIDEO: The Dominion-SCANA Merger Explained
It was a chilly morning outside, but inside the feeling was warm as all of the attendees to our December breakfast brought donations for Mission Lexington. All in all, the Chamber collected $307 and 128 pounds of food to help our neighbors here in Lexington. Guests enjoyed music by Bob Michalskias they entered before settling down to find out what is really happening with the SCANA/Dominion Energy merger.
Jason Waters, interstate marketing manager with Dominion Energy, was the breakfast speaker on Tuesday morning. Jason was born and raised in Lexington and still lives here today with his wife and 7-year old daughter. Waters is a 17-year veteran of the energy industry having spent 12 years working in customer service and business development for the Carolina Gas Transmission, a SCANA subsidiary. In 2015, Carolina Gas Transmission was acquired by Virginia-based company, Dominion Energy.
Dominion Energy operates in 19 states. There are more than 16,000 employees and six million customers across the country. In January 2018, Dominion expressed its interest in merging with SCE&G after the failed nuclear projects left SCE&G essentially bankrupt. Dominion promised to give out $1.3 million in refunds to SCE&G customers if the merger goes through. The average customer would receive about $1,000 in refunds along with a proposed five percent rate cut. Their plan also reduced the time that customers would be charged for the failed project from 50 to 20 years.
The merger has had to go get approval from several regulatory committees. Currently, the merger is riding on the approval from the South Carolina Public Service Commission. Waters is hopeful that the decision will be made by the end of the year. If SC Public Service Commission approves the merger and the proposed $1,000 refund to SCANA customers (which was just one of the proposed solutions), then that refund would be sent to customers within 90 days of the merger being finalized.
According to Waters, Dominion Energy is not only invested in making things right for residential consumers but also committed to being a huge part of the business community. SCANA invested $5 million each year into the communities they served. Dominion has promised to increase that amount by $1 million each year for at least five years.
At this point in time, Dominion does not have plans to complete the nuclear projects. Nuclear simply isn’t as cost effective as other options which provide the same amount of energy and at a much lower cost. This includes solar, hydro and natural gas options.
See Waters full presentation above and mark your calendars for the first breakfast of 2019 on January 8!