September 4, 2018
Ever since July 31, 2017, when South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) announced that it was abandoning construction of its nuclear plant project in Fairfield County the BIG question has been:
How much of the $4.7 billion of the incurred construction costs for the nuclear project will the ratepayers be responsible for paying?
By December 21st of this year, we should know the answer. That is the date the SC Public Service Commission (PSC) has been given by the SC Legislature to rule on who will be responsible for paying those abandonment costs—ratepayers, shareholders or both. The PSC hearing on this issue will start on November 1st.
The SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) President and CEO, Frank Knapp, is a pro se intervenor in this PSC hearing. He is one of 15 organizations, businesses and individuals recognized to fully participate in this important hearing. Mr. Knapp has been an intervenor in SCE&G rate hike hearings numerous times since 2002.
SCSBCC has consistently maintained that all the electric rate hikes approved by the PSC since 2009 (18%) to only pay for the project’s construction financing should be rolled back and the approximately $2 billion already collected by SCE&G in higher rates should be clawed back.
This past June the Legislature voted to have the PSC temporarily roll back SCE&G electric rates by 15% retroactively to April of this year. The PSC complied, and SCE&G rolled back the rates. SCE&G has appealed that ruling to a federal court of appeals.
SCSBCC has also spoken out loudly against Dominion Energy being allowed to be a party to the PSC hearing on the abandonment costs. The PSC’s ruling against a motion to confine Dominion to a separate and later hearing on its proposed acquisition of SCANA/SCE&G poses a serious threat to obtaining a ruling on abandonment costs that is in the best interest of ratepayers.
The SCE&G customers will have their opportunity to speak directly to the PSC at three public hearings. Individuals will have three minutes for oral presentations. All the public hearings will start at 6PM.
Columbia: Monday, September 24th, PSC, Hearing Room, Synergy Business Park, Saluda Building, 101 Executive Center Drive, Columbia, SC.
Aiken: Monday, October 8th, Aiken County Government Center, 1930 University Parkway, Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, Aiken, SC.
North Charleston: Monday, October 15th, Lonnie Hamilton III, Public Service Building, 4045 Bridgeview Drive, North Charleston, SC
Let the PSC know how you feel on this issue.
For a chronology of this issue back to 2004, click here (thank you Cindi Scoppe).
Frank Knapp Jr.
President & CEO