Date: January 30, 2018
From: South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Subject: SCANA’s shareholders rake in $1.17B from nuclear rate hikes since 2009
Contact: Frank Knapp, President/CEO, 803-252-5733 (w), 803-600-6874 (c),
Statement by Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Knapp has intervened as an individual in Public Service Commission Docket 2017-305-E in which the Office of Regulatory Staff has petitioned the PSC to stop SCE&G from continuing to collect approximately 18% in increased electric rates put in place under the Base Load Review Act until the constitutionality of the Base Load Review Act is determined by a court or the legislature.
SCANA’s shareholders rake in $1.17B from nuclear rate hikes since 2009
Small Business Chamber calls for immediate end to ratepayer abuse
PSC to address issue tomorrow
Last week I asked the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) to calculate the share of the rate hikes collected by SCE&G under the Base Load Review Act (BLRA) that have or could have been given to the SCANA shareholders as dividends. The answer was shocking.
ORS estimates that of the approximately $1.88 billion paid by ratepayers for the nuclear plant project from 2009 to 2017, approximately $1.17 billion was Return On Equity (ROE) that could have been passed on directly to the SCANA shareholder.
If there is no change in SCE&G electric rates going forward, according to the ORS analysis approximately $236.5 million of the $445 million collected annually in revised rates due to the BLRA would be attributed to the ROE and accrue to the benefit of the shareholders.
The Small Business Chamber is calling for the Public Service Commission (PSC) to rule in favor of the ORS petition for SCE&G to suspend collection of all revised rates due to the BLRA. The PSC is scheduled to discuss this matter at its meeting tomorrow.
If the PSC is not inclined to make that ruling at this time:
- Then the PSC should accept SCANA’s suggestion for ORS to do a full 90-day analysis of SCE&G’s finances before it rules on the ORS petition in question.
- However, the PSC should require SCE&G to immediately reduce electric rates by 3.7% as they offered to do this past November. While this is only a small part of the approximately 18% being charged under the BLRA rate hikes now in place, it is the reduction that the company has already indicated that they can forgo without causing them financial harm.