The latest requested rate increase by SCE&G brings back memories of when there was competition between SCE&G and the co-ops. At that time it was less likely to see rates increase as they have been lately, for fear of losing new customers.
It also is very hard to understand how a project’s cost, such as the building of the nuclear facility, can go so wrong. The new cost, which is $14 billion, amounts to a 40 percent increase over the initial cost of $10 billion.
What kind of contract was agreed upon for the building of this facility? When the increased costs were revealed I guess the answer was, “Don’t worry, we have 700,000 customers to cover these excess costs.”
Also, how can a project get two years behind schedule? Was there not a red flag to those overseeing the project that something was seriously wrong?
Another realization is that a lot of existing customers, who are those now covering excess costs, will never see all of the supposed savings that SCE&G says are associated with the pay-as-you-go method. In fact I may never see any savings the way things are going, because the construction of the facility may outlive me.
One other thing that jumps out at you is that SCE&G can take up to 10.5 percent of the costs as profit. If the costs rise their profits increase accordingly. Is there something wrong with that or not? Is there any incentive to work to reduce costs? Our only hope for relief comes from the Public Service Commission; however, they heavily lean toward whatever SCE&G requests.
I guess we all just need to: “Don’t Worry — Be Happy.”
William T. Reynolds
Kushiwah Creek Drive