The Palmetto State’s energy future is looking brighter with Dominion Energy coming together with SCANA. The combined resources of these two companies would mean an energy future that is stronger and more reliable for South Carolina.
This proposed union has been crafted with SCANA’s 1.6 million customers top of mind. Electric and gas services wouldn't change. SCE&G headquarters wouldn't leave the state. Support for local charities and organizations wouldn't end.
What would be different? The partnership would result in immediate financial benefits for SCE&G customers. Thomas F. Farrell, II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Energy, said this merger “would lock in significant and immediate savings for SCE&G customers—including what we believe is the largest utility customer cash refund in history.” Although exact amounts would depend on an individual customer’s electric usage, the average residential electric customer would receive a cash payment of $1,000.
Those payments add up: That would be $1.3 billion coming directly from Dominion Energy to SCE&G electric customers within 90 days after closing the proposed merger.
Customers would also see an additional rate reduction of at least 5 percent thanks to a lower federal corporate tax rate for the combined companies and other refunds. And Dominion Energy has promised no more rate increases to pay for the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion project. Ever.
“[The merger would] guarantee a rapidly declining impact from the V.C. Summer project,” Farrell said. Without this deal from Dominion Energy, SCE&G customers would have to continue paying for the nuclear project for the next 50 to 60 years, but this merger would reduce that by three to four decades.
With a promise to maintain SCE&G headquarters in South Carolina, Dominion Energy would be investing fully in the region. SCANA employees would have protections until 2020 and SCANA customers would take advantage of Dominion Energy’s expanded resources right away. The combination of SCANA and Dominion Energy would put them among the nation’s largest and fastest-growing energy utility companies, and communities served by SCANA would reap the benefits of Dominion Energy’s four core values: Safety, Ethics, Excellence, and One Dominion Energy.
On the merger, Jimmy Addison, chief executive officer of SCANA, said, "Dominion Energy is a strong, well-regarded company in the utility industry and its commitment to customers and communities aligns well with our values. Joining with Dominion Energy strengthens our company and provides resources that will enable us to once again focus on our core operations and best serve our customers."
Like SCANA, Dominion Energy has a proud history of service and community involvement. Not only do the 16,000 current Dominion Energy employees—many of whom are veterans—make volunteering a priority, but the company also gives back financially in all the communities it serves.
Dominion Energy is already a community partner in South Carolina, contributing to non-profits in the state through its local office, Dominion Energy Carolina Gas Transmission. In 2015 and 2016, the company provided grants to 43 non-profits across South Carolina and Georgia. And after coming together with SCANA, Dominion Energy plans to contribute an additional $1 million in charitable giving—on top of what SCANA has already committed—each year for at least five years.
But to understand why you would benefit from a Dominion Energy and SCANA merger, you need only look to its record in the neighboring state of Virginia. Dominion Energy serves 2.5 million electric customers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, where residential electric rates are well below regional and national averages. An electric bill for a typical Dominion Energy Virginia customer has only gone up by 8 percent since July 2008—an annual rate of increase hovering around 1 percent. That means the inflation-adjusted price of Dominion Energy electric service in Virginia has actually dropped since 2008.
Additionally, Dominion Energy has maintained rate stability even while investing billions in new, reliable and secure supplies of energy—including a push for cleaner and more environmentally friendly sources, such as solar power generation.
This is an exciting time for South Carolina. The future is here—and it’s bright, strong and reliable with Dominion Energy.