Stuck again. Santee Cooper customers, that is. The company is turning 100 cents of customer dollars into a whole lot less. Costs of paying for unbuilt nuclear plants. Customers are committed to pay for nuclear costs for years (though it does not have to be that way, you’ll see.)
There is a nuclear settlement for Santee Cooper customers (direct customers and those who buy through cooperatives.) Customers will reportedly get $300 million of refunds in 2020 and $122 million in 2022.
Billions in nuclear costs. $4 BILLION in nuclear debt. Way less than that back.
This debt has been committed by Santee Cooper on behalf of its customers who now wait for a resolution [imagine the sound of a foot tapping here].
Several hundred million – a lot of money – out of billions – a lot more money. Customer money.
There’s more: Customers also pay a monthly surcharge to pay off the nuclear costs of an unfinished plant, too. Let’s get this straight – Customers get a refund that they get to give back to Santee Cooper to pay for something that doesn’t work. Sound reasonable?
And more: The court also appointed an administrator to make sure the right funds go to the right customers. Someone has to make sure that this gets done properly.
In March it was reported that resolving the case was, in the words of a Santee Cooper executive to the company’s board, “…in the best interest of Santee Cooper.” (Source)
The board apparently agreed.
The Post and Courier reported on the settlement and the nuclear project September 1, 2020, saying, “The fiasco has led for calls to sell or restructure Santee Cooper to protect its ratepayers from future business stumbles.”
There is an offer to purchase Santee Cooper by NextEra Energy which would remove all debt and nuclear costs off the backs of customers.