Regulators to hear ratepayers

Regulators to hear ratepayers

PSC public hearing on SCE&G rates Monday

Lexington County Chronicle
September 20, 2018

By Jerry Bellune

State regulators plan to hear from those most affected by SCE&G’s high rates.

The Public Service Commission will give the public an opportunity to speak on if or what ratepayers should pay for SCE&G’s abandoned $9 billion nuclear project.

The first public hearing will be at 6 p.m. Monday at the PSC office in Synergy Business Park, Saluda Building, 101 Executive Center Drive off Berryhill Road near Bush River Road.

SCE&G has spent $4.7 billion on construction since 2009 to build the project before abandoning it in 2017.

SCE&G wants the PSC to let it charge up to 34% over 50 years to pay for its failure.

“The customers have already had their rates increased by 18% and paid over $2 billion for financing costs,” said SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO Frank Knapp.

“We encourage small business owners to attend and speak at 1 of the 3 PSC public hearings.

“SCE&G rates should be rolled back 18% and the $2 billion the customers have already paid should be clawed back.”

Tom Clements of Friends of the Earth, which is suing SCE&G for internal documents, said. “It is essential that SCE&G customers express their concerns about being unjustly charged for the failed project and about the questionable takeover of SCANA by Dominion. Comments by the public will be entered into the record of the PSC proceedings.”

Clements invited ratepayers to a presentation by Shelley Robbins of Upstate Forever, on Dominion’s track record, purported plans and regulatory and environmental challenges Thursday, Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m., Luther Lee Building, 1315 Lincoln St., Columbia.

“What Shelley’s research reveals will surprise you and enable you to ask questions and to call for a higher level of accountability from both utilities and government,” Clements said.

Knapp warned the Lexington County legislative delegation 2 years ago that SCE&G was going to seek at least 31% in nuclear surcharge by 2022.

Knapp figured that from the 3% more each year SCE&G had asked the PSC for each year for 9 years.