March/April 2020
PSC Announces COVID-19 Response
In March, the PSC announced a series of measures related to the state of emergency enacted after the COVID-19 outbreak. SC Utility Consumer has compiled a blog that outlines both those measures and the directives issued on the March 18 th Commission Business Meeting, during which the PSC’s response to the outbreak was discussed and which is available to livestream at this link . Among the actions taken at that meeting:

  • Chairman Randy Randall moved to grant waivers of the regulations related to late payment charges and the procedures for termination of services, to apply to all regulated utilities.
  • Chairman Randall moved to direct all regulated utilities to suspend the disconnection of service during the State of Emergency declared during the outbreak.
  • Chairman Randall moved to request that Palmetto Utilities, Inc. and Blue Granite Water Company voluntarily stay all deadlines related to SC Code Ann. 58-5-240, including the six-month deadline for issuance of final orders, thus staying all increases in service charges related to Docket Nos. 2019-281-S and 2019-290-WS.

Please note that the Commission office is open during this state of emergency; our commitment to serving the public means we serve our role continuously and conscientiously as long as it's safe to do so. We have moved to hosting meetings virtually and we encourage parties to e-file and documents through our Docket Management System to minimize contact.

You can review a press release at this link or contact Rob Bockman at 803.896.5142 or for more information.
PSC Hosts Virtual Public Night Hearing
On March 19th, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Carolina, the PSC elected to hold their public night hearing in Docket No. 2019-281-S as a virtual hearing in the interest of public health. Rather than having witnesses attend in person, the PSC established a preregistration line consumers could call in to, and patched callers in to the meeting to deliver their testimony directly to the Commission without leaving the convenience and security of their homes. The meeting was recorded and can be viewed at the livestream archive page at this link

This test of the agency's capabilities was a success, with over forty virtual attendees signing in, and the public able to livestream the proceedings via either SCETV's website or a separate call-in listening line through their phones facilitating transparent and convenient interactions between South Carolina ratepayers and the Commission.
February was Black History Month, and the PSC recognized Lewis Latimer, Civil War veteran, inventor, and celebrated draftsman who illustrated Alexander Graham Bell's original application for the telephone before going on to a distinguished career in the utility sector.

You can read SC Utility Consumer's thread at this link for more information about Latimer, including his original patent illustrations.
March was Women’s History Month, during which we recognized the contributions of Edith Clarke, the first woman to receive a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from MIT. You can read SC Utility Consumer's full thread about the life and legacy of Clarke at this link .

The Post & Courier also recognized, in their recounting of Charleston’s notable women , Marjorie Amos-Frazier, the first woman elected to the Public Service Commission in 1980. 
Media Spotlight
From the Blog:
Mark Your Calendars:
Please note that these are highlights and may be subject to change—the complete calendar of scheduled events is available through the Docket Management System 
If you have questions about anything contained within this newsletter or about the Commission’s operations, please contact the Commission at 803.896.5100. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn: PSC Twitter ; PSC Facebook ; PSC LinkedIn ; SC Utility Consumer Twitter ; SC Utility Consumer Facebook ; SC Utility Consumer LinkedIn .
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