Public Power Works for You

Public Power Works for You

Public Power Works for You

Public power utilities across the U.S. celebrate Public Power Week the first full week of October every year to help customers and stakeholders understand how they can better engage with their community-owned utility and benefit from all its offerings. This year it’s Oct. 6-12.

So what does public power mean to you? You own it. The government runs it. We aren’t motivated by profits to sell more power, so we want to help reduce energy use. That’s why, among other things, we offer energy-efficiency rebates to our residential and commercial customers alike.

Plus, we make it a priority to be environmentally responsible because we live here, too. We plan to increase our solar portion of our power by 500% by 2024.

We have no shareholders and as a Santee Cooper customer, you are our top priority. We care about the quality service provided to each of our customers. With local control and decision making, you can rest assured that your voice is heard.

Community-owned public power means lower bills. In fact, nationwide customers served by public power utilities pay rates 10% lower, on average, than those served by investor-owned utilities.

South Carolina has four large utilities, including Santee Cooper, that generate, transmit and distribute electricity. The average bill for our typical residential customer (using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month) is the lowest among the four. Consider this average monthly bill comparison, which includes shareholder-owned utility rates as reported by the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff:

    • Santee Cooper----------------------------------          $117.63
    • Duke Energy Carolinas -----------------------         $122.45
    • Duke Energy Progress ------------------------         $130.55
    • Dominion/SCEG --------------------------------       $125.35

Our new business forecast calls for a freeze on rates for at least five years. Our electric rates are lower than the state and national averages, and we are working hard to make sure that continues.

Public power customers face fewer outages, again on average, and when there is an outage, the outages are shorter. Santee Cooper has a distribution reliability rate of 9.9961%, and our transmission reliability is even a little better, at 99.9973%. That means Santee Cooper retail customers were without power last year less than 21 minutes on average. The closest comparable South Carolina utility posted an average customer outage time of nearly 100 minutes. Reliability is a cornerstone of Santee Cooper’s history.

Santee Cooper’s commitment to economic development, management of lakes Marion and Moultrie and a myriad of wildlife habitats are just a few examples of community values we advance throughout South Carolina. You own Santee Cooper, and we understand what’s important to you because it’s also important to us. This is our home, too. Since our inception in 1934, Santee Cooper has been state owned and has been improving the quality of life and prosperity for our customers, and all South Carolinians.

Learn more about Public Power Week by watching this video, and thank you for being our public power customers.

Author Tracy Vreeland

Tracy Vreeland

Tracy Vreeland joined Santee Cooper in May 2018, coming from a Myrtle Beach advertising agency. Prior to that she worked at United Way of Horry County. A University South Carolina graduate, she majored in electronic journalism and has worked in television news gathering at several stations. A New Jersey native, Tracy enjoys hanging with her son, Oliver, and daugther, Vienna, running, volunteering, going to the beach and watching the New York Giants and USC Gamecocks.