If you were a member of Little River Electric Cooperative for any period between Jan. 1, 2007–Jan. 31, 2020, you may receive an unexpected bill credit or check this month.
These credits (for amounts of $50 or less) and checks (for amounts greater than $50) are the result of a class-action settlement involving the failed nuclear construction project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station. The funds are being paid by Santee Cooper, a state-owned utility that partially owned the project.
Little River Electric did not own the project. However, because we buy from Santee Cooper some of the power we deliver to our members, some members may be due bill credits or payments. Your cooperative did not calculate the payments. They resulted from a court-approved process after a settlement agreement was reached between the parties in the class-action lawsuit.
Cook v. Santee Cooper Class Action Lawsuit Website
Frequently Asked Questions
Santee Cooper Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Funds Distribution
- I noticed a credit on my bill (or, I got a check in the mail) for something related to a class action settlement. What’s that about?
A class-action lawsuit was filed in 2017 following the failure of the construction project for two nuclear units at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Fairfield County. Santee Cooper and SCE&G (now Dominion Energy) were the owners of the project. The lawsuit argued that consumers should not have to pay for the nearly $9 billion in costs that were sunk into the failed project and essentially lost with nothing to show for them. Your cooperative was not a party to the case, but your rights were affected. Before the lawsuit went to trial, the parties came to an agreement and settled the suit. The settlement agreement called for $520 million to be returned to customers of Santee Cooper and the members of electric cooperatives.
- How were the credits issued?
Cooperative members who were due more than $50 got a check in the mail. Cooperative members who were paid $50 or less got a credit on their electricity bill.
- Did the cooperatives—and specifically my cooperative—own part of the failed nuclear units?
No. But our power supplier, Central Electric Power Cooperative, buys a lot of the power we use from Santee Cooper. And Central was required to pay for part of the construction project while it was ongoing. So, Central and Little River Electric Cooperative’s members are due some of the settlement funds that are being returned. That’s why you’re getting a payment.
- Is the bill credit I got this month all there is?
Yes. The first bill credit or payment members received in 2020 represented about 70% of the amount coming to you. A second credit or payment for the remaining 30% is being applied in February or March. That’s the way the plan was set up by the court. We don’t have control over the timing.
- My bill credit sure was small. Why so little?
Payments were calculated based on how much electricity you purchased during a specific time period through January 31, 2020. So, if you were only a member for a short amount of time before then, you really didn’t pay much for the nuclear plant’s construction.
- Why didn’t I get any money?
The class in the class-action lawsuit included only those people who were members through January 31, 2020. So, if you came online with the cooperative afterward, you did not have charges on your electric bill inside the class period.
- How was my amount calculated?
Your share of the settlement was based on your power use, but Little River Electric Cooperative did not perform the final calculation. That was between the court and the firm hired to administer the settlement, a firm called Epiq (pronounced eh’-pic), a global firm in the legal services industry. If you have any questions regarding the administration of the Settlement, you may contact the Settlement Administrator. Please include your name and your return address on all correspondence.
- Cook v. SCPSA, Class Action Administrator, P.O. Box 3127, Portland, OR 97208-3127
- 1-833-947-0894 (Toll-Free)
- Email: info@SanteeCooperClassAction.com
- Frequently Asked Questions (external link)