Paying the third highest electric rates in the South, as we do here, does not—and likely will not in the near future—get you affordable nuclear energy.
That pipe dream was abandoned—officially and amid much rancor—in July, along with two nuclear reactors that two utilities spent $9 billion to build over nine years.
Partners South Carolina Electric and Gas, and state-owned Santee Cooper financed the project partly through a series of rate hikes, totaling roughly $2 billion.
The value the average South Carolinian gets in exchange for paying 12.73 cents per kilowatt hour—the third highest rate in the South—is merely as good as the air conditioning is cold.
Delaware and Maryland residents paid on average from January through July 13.39 and 14.21 cents per kilowatt hour, respectively, according to data published by the electricity marketplace, ElectricChoice.com.
South Carolina’s electric rates averaged higher than 30 other states in 2017.
By contrast, the state ranks 25th nationwide overall in terms of affordable living, according to rankings by U.S. News and World Report. Those rankings were based on 2015 and 2016 data. South Carolina’s cost of living ranked 19th, while housing affordability ranked 31st.
South Carolina ranks 24th nationwide in total monthly energy costs, according to a June report by the credit reporting site, WalletHub. And South Carolinians have the most expensive electricity costs in the nation, averaging $173 per month. The average monthly energy bill in South Carolina is $278, including motor fuel and natural gas.
Santee Cooper’s general service rate is 11.97 cents per kilowatt hour in the summer, compared to SCE&G’s rates of 13.09 cents and 13.95 cents, depending on usage.