From Bea Wray

I was looking forward to attending the Dominion Energy, Inc. (D.N.) “Meet And Greet” last week. However, due to Hurricane Florence, the planned event was cancelled and is now scheduled Oct 11th in North Charleston at Trident Technical College. Dominion has scheduled such meeting throughout the state from Florence to Beaufort, etc. and they have already conducted these meetings in Newbury and Aiken. Here is the upcoming schedule for the Dominion Energy Meet and Greets.  So, I am confident I will be able to attend one of these meetings soon. And I hope you will find one that works for you.

Dominion Energy announced in January of 2018 its intent to buy SCANA in an all-stock merger worth around $7.9 billion so there’s plenty to talk about. Personally, as I have been writing about energy in South Carolina, I am realizing how little I know and how many questions I have. I am not alone.

I find it interesting that the GoogleMaps route for the Dominion Energy meet and greet session forms a letter A because this is the season of “Meet the Teacher” open houses. I enjoy these evenings which take something so critical to my family (my child’s education) and so big and unknown and begin to answer questions. My middle son for example attends a high school with more than 4,000 students. This is a far cry from his elementary school experience on Daufuskie Island where the student body totaled 17 (three living in my house) and he was the sole student in his grade for his kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade years. I regularly introduced him as “the smartest kid in his grade” to which he chimed in “and the dumbest” with a smile.

While SCANA isn’t quite as intimate as a neighborhood school on a bridge-less island, it has history of feeling like the “home team.” SCANA serves approximately 662,000 electric customers in South Carolina and more than one million natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. In comparison, Dominion Energy has nearly six million electric and natural gas customers throughout 19 states.

In the schools, I really appreciate the chance to meet one of my son’s teachers and have him or her provide a presentation and then a chance to ask questions. I want to hear about the plan for the year, what challenges are expected, what results are the stated goals, what remedies might be tapped if things get off course. I also want to hear what is expected of my child and what, if any, role I will play. Then, I want to the chance to ask my own questions. All of this helps my son and I prepare for a great year together. We can budget time, plan for holidays, have talking points, and even make contingencies.

I am hoping the Dominion “Meet and Greet” will be similar. I am hoping for a presentation that might help me better understand how and when the merger will take place. What hurdles still exist? What stands in the way? I also want to know what the merger will mean for customers. How will rates be affected? What is the $1,000 I hear about on the radio? In what ways will Dominion Energy customers be impacted by the nuclear debt? I want to know what contingencies Dominion Energy has in place. I am interested in business contingencies, legislative contingencies, and even natural disaster contingencies like Hurricane Florence which is on everyone’s mind today. And then, I hope there is a chance to ask questions. I hope the audience is full of thoughtful and informed South Carolinians engaging for a better South Carolina.

Will I see you there? I wonder if you will grade Dominion Energy as an “A”!