South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
May 16, 2016
Candidates for the South Carolina Public Service Commission have begun seeking pledged support from state legislators for their vote on the May 25th election. The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates for any public office and does not do so for the PSC Commission.
However, we do hope that our state legislators will consider how the PSC candidates propose to address the important issue of approving construction costs and rate increases under the Base Load Review Act for the two nuclear plants being built by SCE&G when making their voting decision.
Through December 2015 the SCE&G ratepayers have had 9 rate increases under the Base Load Review Act resulting in 17% higher rates and, according to the Office of Regulatory Staff, over $1.054 billion in additional electricity costs to both business and residential customers. These rate increases are being used just to pay for the financing costs to build the two nuclear plants in Fairfield County. The construction project is approximately $1 billion over budget and 3 years behind schedule largely due to imprudent business decisions by the utility. Yet to date the PSC has basically approved all requested cost and rate increases requested by SCE&G.
Another rate hike request by SCE&G under the Base Load Review Act is expected in the next several weeks. It is time for our legislators to focus on how the PSC has and will address such requests as well as amendments needed to the Act to better protect the customers from what has been called a “license to steal”.