When you dig yourself into a deep hole, stop digging. ECC has said that before about Santee Cooper, its debt, the negative news, the ongoing odd decisions.

It’s customer money out the door, and money that will have to go out the door in the future. It is more than $7 billion in debt for a nuclear project that makes no power and ongoing operating costs, too. It is simply money owed.

It’s the millions of dollars and the time since 2005 spent on wind power. The State Report said that the only resulting wind turbine would not power a house.

There is a lawsuit about $249 million for a Chinese coal power plant “kit” apparently for the company’s Pee Dee Energy Campus. That is said to have started in 2006 and gone on for several years. And now money is spent each year for site security and to keep the equipment in working condition?

Ongoing outlays for no power?

Renewable energy – The State reported in April that Santee Cooper lags some neighboring utilities in solar power. Is “catch-up” needed in renewable energy for Santee Cooper? That takes vision, planning and financial acumen. When other companies move faster, does the Santee Cooper hole get deeper?

Digging deeper.

There’s money in salaries, too. The golden parachute for a former executive. Hiring a new CEO at twice the salary of the previous CEO. One recent news story compares public power CEO salaries. Is the amount of salary where Santee Cooper wants to be #1?

Why? Why Santee Cooper grants to others? Why make loans when there is so much debt? Example 1. Example 2. Example 3. Economic development is part of the Santee Cooper mission, but be sure, solid financials should be in place to do this.

This money – ratepayer dollars. Customers. Everyday folks.

There is a lawsuit from the co-op that is the largest customer.

Santee Cooper financial ratings have been lowered twice in a year.

Deeper and deeper. Year after year. Not just last year, but more than a decade ago.

Kick the bad decision habit. Drop the hype. Stop digging!

A buyer of Santee Cooper can bring financial resources and management skills to protect customers; defease the debt owed by customers. The State of South Carolina can make that happen. On August 16 the South Carolina Department of Administration issued an invitation for bids for Santee Cooper.

After 85 years of the current power system, times are different. The industry is changing. Adequate financial resources are essential. Customer needs are changing. The future of the power industry will take companies with ample resources, exceptional insight, and precise planning and execution to survive.

ECC believes the future of a region depends in large measure on a resourceful, expert and able utility to be a player. It is everyone’s future.

Get customers back up to ground level with a smart, high-quality buyer for Santee Cooper.