Eight years after its last such review, the Santee Cooper Board of Directors on June 20 approved a comprehensive study of its electric rates to address a projected revenue shortfall beginning in 2025.
The study is expected to take approximately a year and will include rate needs for residential, commercial, industrial, lighting and municipal customers.
Any recommendations from the study would require a Board-authorized public review and comment period of several months, most likely beginning in summer 2024, prior to any action on new rates.
“Santee Cooper’s electric rates are very competitive and in 2025 will have been stable for eight years,” said Jimmy Staton, president and CEO. “The rate study is necessary to ensure we can continue to invest in the reliability of our system as it grows, while also continuing to transition to a greener power mix. We remain committed to keeping our prices as low as possible for all of our customers.”
Santee Cooper, the state-owned public power utility in South Carolina, has not increased its electric rates since April 2017, the second phased adjustment called for after the 2015 study.
Most Santee Cooper rates are currently frozen through Dec. 31, 2024, and this rate study will not affect the rate freeze.
Santee Cooper said its management will develop a process compliant with state law prior to proposing any new rates or adjustments to existing rates. “That process will be transparent and offer multiple opportunities for public review and input. Customers will be notified directly, and general public notice will be offered, about those public input opportunities.”
There is also a webpage dedicated to this process, which will be updated throughout with information such as process milestones, public input opportunities, any proposed rate adjustments, and public meeting dates, times and locations.