From Bea Wray

We cast our votes a week ago, so signs are starting to come down, political ads have ceased, and polling phone calls have taken a break…phew.

My daughter turned 18 in October so this election day was an especially exciting for me. I was particularly impressed with how present and involved she was. She had looked up her sample ballot and researched her options…and even offered to convince me to join her on some of her choices.

I hope her engagement in our democracy is only beginning. I hope she and others take time to touch base with their legislators on important issues like energy, healthcare, infrastructure, and education. Energy? You betcha! It is something that impacts every single South Carolina citizen.

Our South Carolina legislators have and will continue to have great impact in shaping the utility landscape of our state. The decisions they make today will shape how we access and pay for energy for next 50 years. What will our future look like? Will there be new energy companies providing electricity this state? Will they be headquartered here or elsewhere? Could our future hold a different percentage of sources of energy? More solar? More wind?

As consumers, we tend not to think too much about energy unless we flip the switch and the lights don’t come on. But we need to think about it more – as I’ve looked increasingly into energy over the past several months, I’ve found it’s one of the most pressing issues we have in South Carolina, and it affects everything we do.

Because it’s so important we need to hold our newly elected officials (and returning ones too) accountable about making informed decisions, especially when it comes to energy. We need them to think about energy rates, utility providers, the representatives they select to serve on Public Service Commission, etc. I want them to think carefully about the South Carolinians who need help the most and are now having to choose between buying medicine for your kids or putting shoes on their feet.

One of the most pressing issues on the energy agenda is the sale of Santee Cooper and how its $8 billion dollar debt will be resolved. The legislature just approved how they’ll evaluate potential bids to buy Santee Cooper, and how the impact on the rates we pay will be factored in. This came up as an issue during the campaign, with Governor McMaster’s campaign putting it this way:

“South Carolinians have paid billions to finance the construction of nuclear reactors that may never be completed and now face the prospect of being charged even more to pay off billions of dollars in debt for SCE&G and Santee Cooper.”

This is sure to be an issue our elected officials will decide in 2019. We need to watch our representatives closely, if we don’t want to watch our electric bills climb through the roof.

What are your thoughts? Maybe your representative needs to hear them from you… is very informative and can help you find all of the legislators that represent you and it is equally as easy to contact them straight through the site.

As consumers, it is time to WAKE UP and engage. The debt from V.C. Summer is going to cost South Carolina and YOU some money. We must pay attention…or we will surely pay the bill.