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Santee-Cooper ratepayer refund checks are in the mail

South Carolina energy cooperative began sending checks Nov. 20, money result of settlement of class action suit over failed nuclear plant construction

COLUMBIA, S.C. — If you are -- or were -- a customer of Santee-Cooper or the state's electric cooperatives, you may be receiving a check in the mail in the coming days. 

The money is a direct result of a $520 million settlement of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Santee-Cooper's two million electric customers who paid for the failed construction of the co-op's nuclear power plant in Jenkinsville, SC in 2017. The settlement was approved in July 2020.

According to one of the lawyers for the defendants, customers can expect refunds or credits between $50 to just over $500. Here's the breakdown as to what you can expect:

  • 1,612,872 non-industrial customers will receive refunds, with a check averaging $169.28. This is a total payout to customers of $273,022,705.04.
  • 1,526,068 of those customers will receive a check averaging $178.22, for a total payout of $271,969,175.11. An additional 86,804 customers will receive a bill credit (for an active account with an award less than $25) averaging $12.14, for a total payout of $1,053,529.93.
  • 883,504 total customers (55% of the total count of refunds) will receive $50 or more.
  • 41,761 total customers will receive $500 or more.

Attorney and former State Senator Vincent Sheheen, one of the lawyers on the case said, “For longtime customers, these checks may be for hundreds of dollars. For those who were customers for only short amounts of time, they may receive smaller checks or credits on their future power bills. What is most important is that the money that was wrongfully taken from South Carolinians will no longer be kept by the utility companies, but returned to the customers where it belongs.”