Households in Myrtle Beach are just now getting their newly adjusted electric bills from provider Santee Cooper. MyrtleBeachSC news asked local residents if they were being charged the expected increases in rates caused by an $8 billion failed Santee Cooper investment.
The numbers were surprising. Homeowners who previously paid as little as $125 per month in 2016 are now saying they received a $250 monthly charge for the month of July 2018.
Why the increase? S.C. legislators allowed Santee Cooper to invest in a now failed nuclear power plant project. The project lost $8 billion and was closed before ever opening. Someone has to pay for those losses.
According to Santee Cooper, since 2009, customers have been paying more to help cover the cost for the failed project–an average of $5.35 monthly.
“We cancelled rate increases this year, we won’t have another rate increase until at least 2020. At that point they will see about 7 percent but that seven percent is going to be broken up over a period of time,” Tracy Vreeland, Public Relations Specialist for Santee Cooper, said.
Not so, said homeowners we reached out to on Saturday, August 18, 2018. Horry County residents tell us they are witnessing rates that have gone up on average over 30 percent.
Interim President and Chief Executive Officer for Santee Cooper, James E. Brogon, Jr. told local news, “We are working to reduce customer impact and have already cut an average $40 million from our 2018, 2019 and 2020 budgets by cutting almost 11 percent from capital and non-fuel O&M. We are using the nearly $900 million settlement from Toshiba, then-parent of Westinghouse, to strategically pay debt service and reduce long-term debt, avoiding a projected $1.3 billion in debt costs to customers. Equipment sales would offer additional revenue to offset this debt, and we will pursue potential buyers of the high-value equipment we are preserving on site.“
Has your electric bill increased this Summer? By How Much? Let us know here.