State committee votes during fifth hearing on failed nuclear project

Columbia, SC (WCBD) – The House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee met Monday in Columbia for its fifth hearing.

The group, which was formed after the cancellation of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Project is working towards developing a plan in response to the project being abandoned.

SCANA, the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas partnered with Santee Cooper for the project.

In Monday’s meeting, the committee voted to draft legislation concerning the Base Load Review Act. That law essentially allowed for SCE&G to raise customers’ rates to pay for the project that eventually failed. The customers are still paying the increased rates. The company is receiving about $37 million per month because of the increased rates.

The committee recommended that the legislation combine three ideas. First, ratepayers should not have to pay an 18% increased rate going forward. Second, the law should create an interim rate that customers should pay while utilities are going through litigation. Finally, the utilities should be responsible for setting debt from the project.

The two utilities abandoned construction July 31 after jointly spending nearly $10 billion and charging customers more than $2 billion in interest fees.

Another hearing is also planned for Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m.


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