Dominion Energy’s Paul Briggs talks about SCANA merger at C-WC Chamber Breakfast
A Dominion Energy representative said the Richmond, VA -based company would love to merge with SCANA, but the deal has stipulations.
Dominion’s State Policy Director Paul Briggs spoke at the Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast, Tuesday, at the Brookland Baptist Church Conference Center.
Specifically, Briggs repeated the warning if the state’s General Assembly repeals the baseload review act, Dominion would “walk away” with its $14.6 billion offer.
The law allowed – and would continue to allow- SCE&G or a new utility, to charge customers for the uncompleted nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station that cost $9 billion.
Briggs also gave the details of Dominion’s interest in a merger with SCANA, the Cayce-based parent company of SCE&G.
“It’s a great match for us,” Briggs said of the two companies. He said Dominion has spent $750 million in South Carolina to manage natural gas lines for SCANA.
Briggs said Dominion would pay $1.3 billion in rebates to SCE&G customers, an average of $1,000 for a customer with a monthly utility bill of $150, for the year 2016. He said customers with higher average bills would receive a higher rebate.
Briggs estimated the state would get $30 million in the payback and some bigger companies would get as much as $20 million. He said the schools in South Carolina would receive $30 million in rebates.
“This has never been done before,” Briggs said of the rebates. He said it would be the largest refund in the United States. Briggs also said it is necessary.
In addition to the rebates, Briggs said Dominion would reduce current energy rates by 7 percent, and not increase energy rates for three years.
He said SCANA contributes $3 million in charity annually. Dominion would increase that amount, through its foundation, to $4 million.
“The issue is not going to go away,” Briggs said of the money lost on the failed nuclear reactor project.
Briggs also said Dominion would step aside if another company offers a better deal for SCANA. He said it has been eight weeks since Dominion made its offer, and no one has stepped forward yet with a better deal.
Briggs said some have suggested letting SCANA go bankrupt, but it would take years to recover from bankruptcy.
Briggs also said if Dominion made the deal, the headquarters would remain in Cayce and the 5,400 employees would be kept. He said duplication of jobs would be eliminated, but it would not be a significant number in reduced jobs.