House Passes Ratepayer Protection Bill
Removes nuclear premium rates and repeals BLRA
(Columbia, SC) – Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed H.4375, the Ratepayer Protection Bill, by a vote of 119-1. This legislation drops the over 18% nuclear surcharge on SCE&G customers’ bills to 0% while giving direction to the Public Service Commission to keep rates as low as possible while the SCANA merger is evaluated. It also repeals the Base Load Review Act and guarantees that no future projects can recover costs under the law abused by SCE&G.
“Since last August, the House has worked diligently to develop a responsible plan forward that protects ratepayers and prevents them from paying for a failed nuclear project. Today, our members followed through with our commitment to halt SCE&G from recouping more of its customers’ hard-earned dollars for the failed VC Summer nuclear project.
“Once today’s bill is signed into law, consumers can rest assured that utility companies will never take advantage of ratepayers’ trust under the Base Load Review Act again. Setting the nuclear premium rate to zero percent provides South Carolina ratepayers with immediate relief while private sector business negotiations continue before the Public Service Commission. As this innovative approach works its way through the legislative process, I am hopeful the Senate will act quickly in an effort to protect ratepayers from corporate greed.”
Provisions Included in the Ratepayer Protection Bill:
- Repeals the Base Load Review Act
- Defines the terms “prudent” and “imprudent”
- Removes the nuclear premium and drops the rate from over 18% to 0%
- Authorizes the PSC to set an interim rate
- Suspends automatic stay