Columbia, SC (WLTX) – SCE&G is now waiting on a decision from Federal Judge J. Michelle Childs on if they will have to cut nuclear rates by 15 percent and pay back four months worth of rate cuts.
Throughout the two-day hearing attorney’s for SCE&G argued that the temporary rate cuts would cause irreparable harm to SCANA Corp’s finances.
If the rate cuts go into effect they will total $270 million by the end of the year. That’s about 10 percent of the utility’s revenue for 2018.
Attorneys for the Public Service Commission, House and Senate say SCE&G customers have been paying on the failed nuclear reactors for too long. They argued that SCANA will be able to handle the rate cuts if they cut dividends that they were planned to pay to shareholders.
Senate attorney Matthew Richardson says he’s optimistic that there will be a resolution to the failed nuclear project.
“This was an expedited and challenging issues with a lot of records and the court did a great job of giving us an opportunity to make our case and to show that SCE&G has to recognize what has happened,” says Richardson. “It needs resolution and we’re going to get that when the public service commission sets the permanent rates. There needs to be balance as we said for both the shareholders of SCANA and the ratepayers of South Carolina.”
SCE&G’s attorneys did not want to comment after the hearing, but they are asking that the federal judge make a decision by August 7th.
“You’ll get an answer soon,” said Judge Childs before adjourning the court proceedings.
Now both parties will have to wait on her decision.