Who Owns Santee Cooper In 2023?

Former U.S. Attorney nominated to serve as next chairman of Santee
Former U.S. Attorney nominated to serve as next chairman of Santee from www.abccolumbia.com

The Background

Santee Cooper, officially known as the South Carolina Public Service Authority, is a government-owned utility that has been providing power to residents and businesses in South Carolina for over 80 years. It was created in 1934 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program to bring electricity to rural areas.

The Ownership Structure

As of 2023, Santee Cooper is still owned by the state of South Carolina. It is a public entity, which means it is owned by the government and operates on behalf of the citizens of South Carolina. The utility is governed by a board of directors appointed by the state legislature.

Potential Changes

Over the years, there have been discussions and debates about whether Santee Cooper should remain a government-owned entity or be sold to a private company. Proponents of privatization argue that it could lead to more efficient operations and better customer service. However, opponents worry about the potential loss of control and the impact on rates.

Recent Controversy

In 2019, Santee Cooper faced a major controversy when it was revealed that the utility had racked up billions of dollars in debt due to the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project. This led to calls for the utility to be sold to a private company to help pay off the debt and prevent further financial strain on the state.

The Future of Santee Cooper

As of now, the future ownership of Santee Cooper remains uncertain. The South Carolina legislature has been considering various proposals, including selling the utility, reforming its governance structure, or keeping it under state ownership but with increased oversight. The decision is complex and involves weighing the potential benefits of privatization against the risks and concerns.

The Impact on Customers

Regardless of the ownership structure, the primary concern for customers is the reliability and affordability of their electricity service. Santee Cooper’s customers include residential, commercial, and industrial users, and they rely on the utility to provide them with a steady supply of electricity at reasonable rates.

Service Continuity

One of the key considerations in any potential ownership change is ensuring that there is no disruption to the delivery of electricity. Customers expect their lights to turn on when they flip the switch, and any transition in ownership should prioritize maintaining the continuity of service.

Rate Stability

Another important factor for customers is the stability of electricity rates. Santee Cooper has historically offered competitive rates, and customers would want to ensure that any changes in ownership do not result in significant rate increases.

The Role of Regulation

Regardless of who owns Santee Cooper, the utility will still be subject to regulation by the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC is responsible for overseeing the rates, services, and operations of utility companies in the state to protect the interests of customers.


In conclusion, as of 2023, Santee Cooper is still owned by the state of South Carolina. The future ownership of the utility remains uncertain, with discussions ongoing about potential changes. Regardless of the outcome, the focus should be on ensuring reliable and affordable electricity service for the customers and protecting their interests through appropriate regulation.