Former SCE&G customers are in the money.

Former SCE&G customers are in the money.  Just not nearly as much as they've paid for a nuclear boondoggle. File/AP

Don't spend it all in one place, South Carolina.

Next week, the utility formerly known as SCE&G will mail out checks to current and former customers as part of a $100-million-plus class-action lawsuit settlement.

Let's do the math here:

In 2009, the company began charging “ratepayers” — a Latin term which translates to “people forced to pay a monopoly if they want to turn on their lights” — for the construction costs of a new nuclear plant in Fairfield County.

Over the course of nine years, the company collected more than $2 billion from said ratepayers. Trouble is, they never built the plant. Instead, they frittered away the cash on, among other things, golden parachutes for executives.

Meanwhile, most SCE&G customers paid more than $2,000 each for this monumental boondoggle.

So now everybody gets a check for — wait for it — between $20 and $100.

What a deal! SCE&G, you shouldn’t have … ripped us off in the first place.

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Now, since everybody in the Lowcountry is about to be flush, or only $1,900 down, here are a few ideas for how to spend this free money:

• Hire the Turning Leaf Project’s screen-printers to make shirts that say “I survived SCE&G’s nuclear meltdown and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”

Surely there’s a market for such a product.

• Put that money toward a law degree. While SCE&G customers will get back 5 percent of what they have put into those nuke plants, the attorneys who filed the lawsuit will split more than $51 million.

And they didn’t even have to go to court.

• Of course, the best bet is to set that money aside and use it to pay Dominion Energy, which bought SCE&G — and is still charging us for two holes in the ground.

That $100 would pay more than a year of the $7.10 per month surcharge ... which Dominion will be extracting from everyone for the next 20 years.

So, we'd better hope those T-shirts sell.

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com.