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Santee Cooper freezes most customer rates through 2024

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Santee Cooper freezes most customer rates through 2024

Santee Cooper announced Friday that it will freeze its utility rates through 2024.

Santee Cooper is freezing rates for its residential, commercial and lighting customers from August 2020 through December 2024.

In a prepared statement released Friday, the utility stated it would manage any increased costs during this period with existing cash reserves and operational savings.

The four-year rate stabilization is part of the 2020 settlement with customers in a class-action lawsuit over costs associated with the failed V.C. Summer nuclear expansion project.

“Specifically, we are freezing base rates and holding fuel costs and other normally adjustable charges to levels provided in our Reform Plan,” said Mark Bonsall, Santee Cooper president and chief executive officer. “For residential and commercial customers, that means we project fuel prices will actually decrease 7 percent from 2020 through 2024, while base rates are projected to remain at 2017 levels.”

Bonsall said Santee Cooper is focused on increasing value for its customers.

“We are expanding our leaner, greener power supply, paying down our debt and building on our commitment to economic development in South Carolina,” Bonsall said.

As outlined in Santee Cooper’s 2019 Business Forecast and refined in the proposed Reform Plan, Santee Cooper is in the process of transitioning to a more sustainable, flexible and less expensive generating portfolio that includes more solar and less coal. Savings associated with that transition will help maintain rate stability required by the settlement, officials said on Friday.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s largest power provider, largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina.