Santee Cooper Street Lights Initiative

(Current as of:  July 9th, 2020)


BULLETIN 7/9/2020:  

South Carolina Rep. Tim McGinnis (whose District #56 includes much of Carolina Forest) has just drafted proposed legislation to be filed at the outset of next year’s legislative session beginning Jan 2021.


As the bill’s primary sponsor, he’s asking other legislators to join him in this effort.  If your HOA is in a different district, McGinnis encourages you to contact your representative, asking him/her to join him in supporting this bill.


Letters from individual constituents are very effective.  Also, letters from HOA Boards of Directors to specific Representatives and State Senators will send a powerful message.  (Our Plantation Lakes POA Board will be sending such letters.) 


If/when passed, this bill will pave the way for achieving our objective:  Enabling ownership transfer of community street light systems to the respective HOAs/POAs, thus reducing monthly lighting costs for each HOA by thousands of dollars!  (How this is accomplished is explained in documents below.)


Here’s the bill as currently proposed!


Street Lights - Draft Bill


Plantation Lakes POA engaged in substantial communication with Santee Cooper (SC) between 2017 and Nov 2019.


An informational meeting, hosted by Plantation Lakes on July 18, 2019, was attended by representatives of 15 HOAs as well as print and broadcast media personnel.  Immediate newspaper and TV coverage prompted a letter the next day from Santee Cooper to Plantation Lakes that, in turn, resulted in back-and-forth replies between both parties.  


Click on the “Correspondence with Santee Cooper” hyperlink shown immediately below…It contains helpful insights as your HOA plans its strategy to reduce outdoor lighting costs!


These documents are extremely valuable!  They contain helpful insights as your HOA plans its strategy to reduce outdoor lighting costs!



This document provides a helpful overview of recent developments!  It covers the questions most frequently asked about HOAs being substantially overcharged for their street lights by Santee Cooper without any viable option for getting out of the contract.  (Updated 3/11/2020).


This document is a succinct summary of conclusions reached during prior meetings that clarifies the path forward…To seek ownership transfer (a) without additional payment to Santee Cooper and (b) without installation of costly metering devices currently being demanded by Santee Cooper!


This document…

1. details the lease costs for various poles and lights installed by SC,
2. lists the equation by which SC computes the monthly energy costs, and
3. serves as the official leasing contract between SC and residential communities once the initial contract period has been satisfied (usually 5-7 years after installation).


This document…

1. Outlines specific steps you and your community can take now to prepare for a concerted effort in 2020 to persuade South Carolina’s General Assembly to authorize Santee Cooper (or another utility if/when it purchases Santee Cooper) to transfer ownership of the outdoor lighting system to HOAs/POAs if certain criteria is met.
2. For your info, we have now learned that a General Assembly vote is required by “South Carolina Code Title 58 chapter 31 Section 58-31-30(B)” discussed in Santee Cooper’s letter dated Oct 31, 2019.  (To review this document, click on the above hyperlink, “Correspondence with Santee Cooper”).


This document…

1. Provides the Plantation Lakes ad hoc committee charter as an example for other HOAs/POAs should they choose to form an ad hoc committee to focus on reducing excessive outdoor lighting costs.
2. Illustrates how to indemnify committee members under the legal protection afforded to the Board of Directors.