If/When there is electric money coming to city
OUR VIEW: Pay a Rebate.
The City of Clinton is going to receive a windfall of between $1.8 million and $1.9 million from its electrical provider.
We know this because Laurens is going to get it, too.
The Laurens CPW board (Commission of Public Works) talked about it May 13. The same provider for Laurens - Piedmont Municipal Power Agency - provides for Clinton. The money is coming through the Wholesale Power Supply Credit, and almost everybody on the Laurens CPW board thought the money should go into something called “the Rate Stabilization Fund.” Board member Gerald Abercrombie made the absolute-proper motion to give customers a $60 rebate; nobody on the Laurens board would second the motion for a vote (his proposal would have lft $1.6M in reserves; PMPA is rebating $50M to its 10 Upstate cities).
We are not going to counsel the Laurens board; we don’t have a dog in that fight. But we, in the strongest possible terms, urge the Clinton City Council to return some of this money to the rate-payers.
The caveat is: the way Santee Cooper messed up the nuclear project in Fairfield County, something bad’s going to happen to electrical rates all over South Carolina. Duke Energy already has asked for a very controversial rate hike. Dominion is positioning itself to buy a now-very-undervalued Santee Cooper. People with Santee Cooper and SCANA were so annoyed at being examined for the nuclear fiasco that they told reporters, “Yeah, but you should really look at the electric co-ops!” Some reporters did, some co-op boards got fired.
Bottom line, something wicked this way comes regarding electricity in South Carolina. Throw in solar and what The President thinks causes cancer, wind power, along with exploding underwater looking for oil off the Grand Strand, and giant gators in Lake Marion, and things are really getting “twilight zone.”
Truth is, we can always say, “We have to keep this money ‘cause something might happen.” That’s how Clinton accumulated a $3 million “recreation fund” from fast-food tax - all the while, its citizens could not afford power.
Former Public Works Director Dale Satterfield figured a way to decrease electric rates 1 kilowatt hour, something nearly unheard-of in the field of ever-growing costs for electricity. The City didn’t trumpet it like it should have, but the reduction was there, nonetheless.
If we have been overpaying for power - officials say “no,” cash-strapped citizens say “yes” - it will be time to give (a little) of that money back.