September 2016 Newsletter

September 2, 2016

Settlement with SCE&G is a victory for ratepayers

Settlement with SCE&G is a victory for ratepayers Earlier this year, SCE&G filed a request with the SC Public Service Commission to approve $852 million in additional costs to build its two nuclear power plants in Fairfield County. Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, personally intervened in the case citing these objections:

1) The increase in construction costs was too high.

2) I have no confidence that the $505.5 million proposed “fixed price”, based on past SCE&G performance, that the “fixed price” contract the company wanted to enter into with Westinghouse to complete the project would actually be enforced by SCE&G if Westinghouse began losing money. Thus even if the “fixed price” would be in the ratepayers’ best interest, without the “fixed price” really being fixed SCE&G eventually would come back to the PSC for additional costs at the expense of the ratepayers.

3) The company’s Return on Equity was too high.

Yesterday Mr. Knapp along with SCE&G, the Office of Regulatory Staff and other intervenors agreed to a settlement. The settlement, which must be approved by the PSC, addresses the above concerns:

1) The total cost of SCE&G’s request is slightly reduced by $20.45 million.

2) The “fixed price” is now actually fixed in that SCE&G agrees that, with a few appropriate exceptions, if the cost of completing the plants goes over the $505.5 million “fixed price”, the company will never ask the ratepayers to cover the additional costs. Instead, future cost overruns will be borne by SCE&G shareholders or Westinghouse.

3) The company’s Return on Equity will be reduced to 10.25 percent from the current 10.5 percent starting with rate adjustments under the Base Load Review Act beginning in January 2017.

“This settlement is an acknowledgment by SCE&G that ratepayers should be protected from most cost overruns and schedule delays. Company shareholders should have skin in the game which should increase pressure on the company and its vendors to complete the project on time and on budget. Unfortunately this acknowledgement comes only after the project is a billion plus dollars over budget and three years behind schedule. Nevertheless, SCE&G should be given credit for this important conclusion.”

Read Mr. Knapp’s whole statement for more explanation here.

Seismic Testing Threatens Coastal

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is hosting a half-day, Atlantic coast business summit on September 12th in North Myrtle Beach from 11AM-4PM.

Business organizations and individual businesses will discuss the economic dangers of offshore seismic testing used for oil exploration.  The U.S. Department of Interior will soon decide if seismic testing, which uses destructive airgun blasts aimed at the ocean floor, should be allowed along the Atlantic coast.  Earlier this year, the Department of Interior abandoned its plan to permit offshore oil drilling after massive public opposition from residents, businesses and local governments.

Attendees at the business summit will learn how seismic testing will negatively impact local economies by harming marine animals crucial to fisheries, sports fishing, whale/dolphin watching and other outdoor businesses.

“Business leaders from New Jersey to Georgia will come together to collaborate on efforts to stop this senseless attack on our healthy oceans and the local economies that depend on vibrant marine life”, said Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

To register or for more information, please contact, Frank Knapp, president & CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, 803- 252-5733,

Marketing Analysis for Members

The SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce is now offering a marketing analysis to help expand your small business.  The marketing analysis will be completed by two Marketing Interns form the University of South Carolina and overseen by Frank Knapp, president and CEO of SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Knapp has over 25 years of experience with small business marketing.

The marketing team will provide a report addressing target markets, competition, messaging, and marketing approaches to help grow the small business.

For more information please contact Sheree at 803-252-5733 or

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