ACTION ALERT!! Support low-interest bonds for utilities to save ratepayers money

February 17, 2019

Senate subcommittee votes Wednesday Feb.20th at 12:30PM

This Wednesday a Senate subcommittee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 110, a bill that would allow utilities to issue low-interest bonds in a process called “securitization”, a process not currently legal in the state.

This financing tool would save consumers millions when a utility needs to recover costs it incurred for actions that will not generate revenue for the company (ex. storm cleanup, abandoned plants).  Presently utilities are only authorized to use much higher interest rate bonds for these actions, which also produce a large profit for the utility.  The interest rates for “securitized” bonds are much lower because the state guarantees that payments will be made to bondholders.

“Securitization” has been used in more than 17 states to save ratepayers money.  Duke Energy used the process for recovery of costs for its abandoned nuclear plant in Florida.  The use of “securitization” would have been an important tool for our Public Service Commission to have ordered SCE&G/Dominion to use to recover the construction costs of the abandoned nuclear project in Fairfield County.

Contact the state Senators below before this Wednesday and ask them to support S.110.  Tell them that it is an important tool to save utility customers money.  Duke Energy supports the bill because it wants to use the financial tool to lower the cost to consumers when utility files to recover hundreds of millions for past storm cleanup.  “Securitization” could also be used to address the $8 billion debt of Santee Cooper if the legislature agrees to sell the state-owned utility.

Special message for Senator Massey: Thank him for sponsoring S.110.

Senate Subcommittee:

Mike Gambrell (Chair)                 (803) 212-6040
Shane Massey (sponsor of bill)  (803) 212-6330
Brad Hutto                                     (803) 212-6140
Ronnie Sabb                                  (803) 212-6032
Wes Climer                                   (803) 212-6016

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