PSC rules against utility, allows public to speak at solar rate hearing

Lexington County Chronicle
March 22, 2021

By Jerry Bellune 

Go ahead. Speak up.

State regulators say you can.

The SC Public Service Commission turned Dominion Energy down Monday in its bid to silence more than 30 solar experts and owners.

Dominion wants to charge its solar customers higher rates because it says its non-solar customers are forced to subsidize them.

But in an earlier hearing, Dominion executive Alan Rooks admitted:

• There is no subsidization going on nor will it any time soon.

  • The utility plans to keep millions in higher solar charges.
  • It won’t give any of the money to non-solar customers.

    The PSC ‘s decision will allow all who signed up to speak at Tuesday’s 9 am hearing.

    Dominion lawyers argued that the experts were not customers and had no right to be heard.

    The PSC unanimously turned them down.
    During arguments, Dominion attorneys disparaged the opposition to higher rates, calling them “solar subsidy supporters.”

    “That’s not the way lawyers are supposed to talk,” Frank Knap, Jr., CEO of the SC Small Business Chamber, told the Chronicle.

    “We didn’t call them ‘industry killers’,” he said, “although what they are doing could kill the solar industry in South Carolina.”

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