Santee Cooper Is Screwing Up Again

LATEST RATE HIKE PUTS UTILITY ON THE WRONG SIDE OF SOLAR DEBATE … || By FITSNEWS || Our energy policy is simple: Whatever keeps the lights on at the lowest cost to consumers, that’s what we support. Oh, and whatever keeps the corporate cronyism out of the process … We…


|| By FITSNEWS || Our energy policy is simple: Whatever keeps the lights on at the lowest cost to consumers, that’s what we support.

Oh, and whatever keeps the corporate cronyism out of the process …

We don’t believe government should subsidize the energy industry … and we certainly don’t believe it should run an energy company.

But in South Carolina, it does.  Santee Cooper – a state-owned utility that should have been sold years ago – continues pursuing top-down, anti-competitive command economic policies in providing power to its consumers.

Its other job?  Providing costly subsidies for “economic development” purposes.

In fact that’s why state lawmakers haven’t sold the multi-billion dollar entity: They want to continue picking winners and losers in the marketplace with the power it generates.

Who pays for that?  Santee Cooper’s ratepayers – who are about to get hit with another hike at a time they can least afford it.

Making matters worse?  Santee Cooper’s proposed rate hike contains a discriminatory charge on customers who choose to install solar systems.  In fact it’s one of the most anti-solar proposals in the country.

Basically, the utility wants to make solar a cost-prohibitive investment for its consumers – which stands in stark contrast to recently approved state legislation intended to “promote the establishment of a reliable, efficient, and diversified portfolio of distributed energy resources.”

“Governor Nikki Haley signed landmark legislation to bring more energy choices to the state, but Santee Cooper is trying to protect its monopoly and run competition out of town,” said Gracie Walovich, spokesperson for the California-based Alliance for Solar Choice. “The utility is proposing a rate hike for all customers, and is specifically targeting solar homeowners with extreme charges that will thwart the burgeoning new solar market.”

Santee Cooper’s anti-solar policy stands in stark contrast to market-friendly policies recently adopted by Duke Energy and SCE&G. Both of these providers pay solar customers the dollar-for-dollar retail rate for the power they produce in their own homes using solar.

Once again, the private sector is getting it right while government is getting it wrong … shocker, right?

We’ll continue to follow this debate but Santee Cooper’s latest effort to manipulate the market in an economically and environmentally unfriendly manner strikes us as further evidence that the state should immediately divest itself of this asset.



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Will Folks


Pappy O'Daniel September 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

Did the “Founding Editor” and only employee oversleep this morning? Its been 16 hours since the last post.

Uh huh September 17, 2015 at 9:34 am

It’s pretty impressive that he’s able to support himself and his family without needing to slave away in a corporate box or take shit from dickhead colleagues all day.

Sounds like you’re the type of guy that can appreciate that.

Pappy O'Daniel September 17, 2015 at 9:43 am

Sorry Will’s wife.

Bible Thumper September 17, 2015 at 10:17 am

Will worked a night job as a predebate political pundit on WORD Greenville from 6pm to 8pm. He has a voice and a face that is good for radio. He sounded pretty smart. I did not even recognize the idiot that endorsed Ravenel. He took cheap shots at Haley, but otherwise did pretty good.

Which Is Worse? September 17, 2015 at 9:46 am

I wonder, which power company hikes their rates worse, SCE&G or Santee Cooper?

Roger Dorn September 17, 2015 at 10:22 am

The fact that anyone has to ask that makes you wonder why we even have the Office of Regulatory Staff–the agency that is supposed to represent our best interests at the PSC. If Dukes Scott and the rest of those idiots weren’t so busy kissing the ass of every SCE&G exec and the governor actually appointed an ORS director that was more concerned with the well-being of the ratepayers and not how he can make the general assembly happy, I promise you our SCE&G bills would be a whole hell of a lot lower.

Philip Branton September 17, 2015 at 10:22 am


“Our energy policy is simple: Whatever keeps the lights on at the lowest cost to consumers, that’s what we support….”

Wil Folks, we highly suggest that you, yes YOU, have a seat with your wife and discuss the cost of AMERICAN BLOOD to protect the Oil that is used in our daily lives..!! Then, ask yourself how SCE&G has used its “authority” to EDUCATE and train all SC citizens to produce as much energy individually as they possibly can to sell back through the power grid instead of importing COAL or Fossil OIL at all…? Using LOCAL hydro power is great. You and I both know that a De-Centralized energy production plan is what is needed. There is no silver bullet energy source. “With great SCE&G power comes great energy source ethics and responsibility…..AMERICAN Blood is priceless..!”

Wil…..we know you can do better than this statement……….we bold face DARE you to..!

CNSYD September 17, 2015 at 10:26 am

“Gracie Walovich, spokesperson for the California-based Alliance for Solar Choice”

Folks actually believes some propaganda from the land of fruits and nuts?

Bible Thumper September 17, 2015 at 10:52 am

Santee Cooper should be sold and while it is publicly owned should be run as a business with profits returned to the tax payers.
The fact that Will runs a business, you would think that he would know more about the “Free” market.

In this case the solar customers are the cronies. They expect to use the taxpayers grid for their own personal profit to resell their excess energy and for the power company to collect the payments for reselling that energy all for free. The other rate payers end up paying for that.

Producing energy is not the only expense a power company has. They have to maintain a grid and production capacity to meet peak morning, evening, Summer and Winter demands. That means they have different energy costs at different times of the day and season. The solar panels produce energy when their is sunshine, not necessarily when it is needed. Therefore the utility, taxpayers and other rate payers lose when forced the buy energy at the retail price. No utility can profit from transporting and reselling energy without any markup.

tomstickler September 17, 2015 at 11:26 am

If you look at your electric bill, there is a “fuel charge”. Divide this by your KwH usage and compare that with what Santee Cooper is proposing to pay per KwH to solar generating customers for their excess.

But BT has a point. The rest of your bill (outside of taxes, fees, etc.) represents the cost of the infrastructure and maintenance necessary to get those KwH from where they are generated to where they are needed and when.

The solar day of celebration will arrive when Tesla perfects their affordable home battery system, and then it won’t matter what utilities offer for your excess. If you have too much, ask what your neighbor is willing to pay for it.

Elfego September 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

Politician’s have to grease the hands that donate to them,this is the way of government. Government hands it out and it is returned in Contributions. A vicious cycle that has worked for years! If anyone knows of anything more corrupt than Lawyers or Politicians I would appreciate hearing about it!

ELCID September 17, 2015 at 1:07 pm

A $10++ Billion Dollar State asset!!

SC is broke and needs this money.

Plus, the Santee Cooper Service area desperately needs the millions of dollars in taxes to cover their schools and rebuild their counties.

For God’s sake SELL IT, or take it public.
Then SC could still own the majority of it: too!!!!!

Mike at the Beach September 20, 2015 at 1:37 am

We’d be redneck rich for about a year or two…$10 billion isn’t even half of what we spend as a state in a single fiscal year (all tolled).

ELCID September 21, 2015 at 11:14 am

That’s not my point. The Santee Cooper money should be used instead of: borrowing around $500 million dollars in bonds, that you and I will have to pay back in our gas tax at around 20 cents a gallon for decades. Plus, another God Knows how much to meet the requirements of a legal judgement to fix the schools in the I-95 Corridor of shame. Which also happens to be a Santee Cooper service area, where they do not pay any taxes. That’s the main reason they have rotten schools. Santee Cooper pays zero taxes to the counties and only $20 million Total to the State of SC. Investor owned power utilities pay to each County and the State. SCE&G paid Lexington County $33 million alone in 2014. Now do you see my Point?? Or, do you just love to pay taxes for nothing.


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