Last Thursday, May 9, marked the last day of South Carolina’s regular session with many still wondering the fate of Santee Cooper.
Just recently, South Carolina lawmakers reached a compromise on Santee Cooper and decided it was time to start seeking purchase and management bids for state-owned Santee Cooper. And earlier this week, the House amended and passed the Senate bill sending it to conference.
Key business and government leaders are pushing for the sale rather than a management agreement.
Because they know a management agreement will not relieve the millions of Santee Cooper direct-serve and cooperative customers from paying off their $7 billion debt.
As discussed in Palmetto Promise Institute’s latest post, a sale would help eliminate the massive debt and is the only solution that will rescue customers from increased utility rates.
An analysis done by PPI showed that in order for Santee Cooper to cover its debt and interest they would have to raise rates by 13.7% and keep them that high over the next four decades.
And, while many wonder how a sale would reduce rates, PPI explains that the detailed ICF report explained “…the IOU-buyer would pay off the debt for the V.C. Summer project and eliminate it from rate base. “Rate base” (in the unique financial world of the regulated utility) is the assets that utilities earn guaranteed returns on, and a lower rate base delivers lower rates to customers.”
Lawmakers agreed to come back for three days starting May 20 for a special session which will include more conversation about Santee Cooper.
To read more visit Palmetto Promise Institute, here.