“Lowest rates” dispute continues

In the battle over the future of Santee Cooper, sell or reform, the state agency always fights back with the claim that they have the lowest electric rates in South Carolina.  No investor-owned utility, like NextEra, could ever provide lower electricity rates, says Santee Cooper.

But this claim of the lowest electric rates has been challenged by numerous organizations.

In the South Carolina Small Business Chamber and the Gullah Geechee Chamber report, “15 Falsehoods: Separating Facts from Fiction in Selling Santee Cooper”, we take on the “lowest electricity” claim as our very first Falsehood.

Palmetto Promise published a report by Kathleen Grace (PhD, Clemson Economics Associates) last year that strongly disagrees with Santee Cooper’s “lowest rates” mantra.

Since then, Palmetto Promise and Santee Cooper have engaged in a legislative memoranda and Twitter battle on the issue.

Here is yesterday’s salvo from Palmetto Promise

Palmetto Promise

Santee Cooper’s “RETAIL” rates (whatever that means) don’t come close to telling the full story. (1/4)

According to USEIA data, Santee Cooper’s RESIDENTIAL prices used to be very cheap. Now they are nearly the same as FOR-PROFIT utilities (IOUs) in SC. That should NEVER be the case for a power utility that is a government agency. (2/4)

Want to talk WHOLESALE rates? Central Electric (the “co-op of co-ops” which represents 2/3rds of Santee Cooper’s electric revenue) told Senators on Monday that Santee Cooper is their “highest cost provider of wholesale power at this time.” (3/4)

Central also told Senators just three days ago that on Santee Cooper’s most recently available survey of co-ops, satisfaction with Santee Cooper was at an all-time low of 17%. Much of the reason? Overpriced wholesale power. (4/4)

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