A Virginia power company warned it could withdraw its offer to buy power utility SCE&G’s parent company if legislators move forward on a bill revoking customer payments going towards a failed nuclear project.
Dominion Energy made the veiled threat a day after state senators released a report which found SCE&G’s rates could be cut up to 13 percent this year without risking the company’s finances. The Senate is considering a proposal which would remove the portion of customer bills currently paying off debt for construction at the now-abandoned V.C. Summer expansion. The House voted to eliminate the full 18 percent of rates which fund the project until state regulators make a decision at a future date.
“The proposal offered by Dominion Energy provides immediate and long-term benefits to customers through cash payments, rate reductions and debt elimination,” CEO Tom Farrell said in a statement. “If the legislature intervenes and enacts policy into law… this materially changes the grounds for Dominion Energy’s proposal.”
Farrell has previously said the company’s offer hinges on its ability to continue collecting payments from SCE&G’s customers to pay off debt. The company has pledged an average $1,000 refund to customers who paid into the failed project if the merger is approved.
SCE&G currently collects roughly $37 million each month from the portion of power bills which funds the V.C. Summer project. Lawmakers were furious to learn much of that money is being used to pay dividends to stockholders.