South Carolina PSC rejects Dominion solar plan, preserves net metering

Last week, South Carolina Public Service Commissioner Tom Ervin motioned to accept a proposal that included several suggestions from the various non-utility parties, including the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCEA), regarding successor net metering tariffs.

Dominion’s original proposal was prohibitively expensive for solar customers. It would have resulted in excessive fixed and variable non-avoidable monthly fees, which would drastically slow rooftop solar adoption in South Carolina. Today, the Commission unanimously rejected Dominion’s proposal and instead opted to adopt a net-metering tariff built around several of the suggestions given by the joint parties.

According to The State, a homeowner with an average sized rooftop solar energy system would have seen a reduction of 60% in cost savings under Dominion’s rejected proposal.

The solar industry celebrated the decision.

“Today the South Carolina Public Service Commission chose to block Dominion Energy’s proposal and preserve net metering in South Carolina. This was the right decision for South Carolina’s ratepayers and the local solar industry. Dominion Energy’s proposal would have added harmful, unnecessary charges for rooftop solar customers in South Carolina, and this decision rejects that proposal and implements the parties’ suggestions,” said Will Giese, Southeast regional director at SEIA, in a statement. “The decision also honors the legislative intent of the 2019 Energy Freedom Act and will go a long way toward building a vibrant clean energy industry in the state. It ultimately gives South Carolinians the freedom to choose low-cost rooftop solar, while also helping to create jobs, reduce emissions and preserve low electricity bills for all ratepayers.

News item from SEIA