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The Business Narrative: Energy Savings

May 07, 2024 06:10AM ● By Donna Walker

Bonds Save $35 Million From Historic Storm Costs for Duke Energy Progress Customers in South Carolina

(Duke Energy Photo)


Duke Energy Progress said customers in South Carolina will save $35 million in repair costs from a series of historic storms from 2014 through 2022 thanks to innovative legislation allowing the company to securitize the costs through the sale of lower interest rate bonds.


Residential customers in the Pee Dee region of the state using 1,000 kWh per month will save about 33 percent compared to traditional storm cost recovery approaches, with bills initially increasing approximately $8.38 per month in the first few months and then decreasing to about $5 per month in early 2025.


The line item will appear as a “storm recovery charge” beginning in May bills.


Duke Energy Progress serves about 175,000 households and businesses in northeastern South Carolina, including Florence, Sumter and Darlington counties.


Legislation passed in 2022 gives the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) the authority to approve the securitization of storm costs through issuing bonds if a proposed plan submitted by a utility would result in lower overall costs for customers.


In 2023, the PSCSC approved the company’s securitization plan.


The company successfully completed a $177 million storm recovery bond financing effort in April that will save customers $35 million over the next 20 years.


“Securitization through bond financing is a prudent, proactive, cost-effective response to the significant storm costs that we’ve incurred responding to truly devastating weather impacts in our state over the past decade,” said Michael Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president.


Callahan added, “We are constantly mindful of customer bills, so we’re very pleased this new cost recovery tool enabled us to significantly reduce the financing costs of storm repair costs for our customers.”


Why securitization?

In recent years, South Carolina households and businesses have endured a number of record-breaking storms, floods and associated severe weather-related outages.


Within a four-month span in 2018 alone, hurricanes Florence and Michael and winter storm Diego claimed lives, crippled communities and destroyed homes and businesses across the state.


Significant devastation resulted in hundreds of millions in costs incurred by utility companies in the state, including Duke Energy. These unprecedented costs include completely rebuilding the power grid in some locations.


Under a securitization plan, bonds are issued in the financial markets at lower interest rates and the proceeds are used to pay for the extraordinary storm-related expenses incurred.


These expenses can include everything from planning and staging for the storms, the work of line technicians, damage assessors and contractors to the reconstruction, replacement and repair of electric generation, transmission or distribution equipment and facilities.


Go to to learn more about securitization.


Duke Energy Progress, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 13,800 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.7 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 28,000-square-mile service area in North Carolina and South Carolina.


Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of America’s largest energy holding companies.


The company’s electric utilities serve 8.4 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 54,800 megawatts of energy capacity.


Its natural gas unit serves 1.7 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.

Balfour Beatty Appoints New Presidents in the Carolinas, California

Balfour Beatty announced the appointments of Jeff Sandeen to president of the company’s Carolinas operations and Emily Kay to incoming president of California operations.


Officials said they will provide strategic, operational oversight in their respective geographies, build on Balfour Beatty’s commitment to meeting the expanding needs of clients and partners in high-growth markets, as well as work alongside local leadership teams to help leverage collaboration, innovation and best practices.


Effective immediately, Sandeen serves as Balfour Beatty’s president in the Carolinas overseeing operations in North and South Carolina.


Officials said he will use his extensive experience in the Carolinas to drive the company’s strategic growth efforts, deliver expert services locally and expand client partnerships across different regions.


Sandeen has been with the company for 10 years providing strategic oversight in the Carolinas and leading teams through a vast portfolio of large projects throughout the area.


Kay succeeds current California president, Brian Cahill, a 31-year Balfour Beatty veteran who will retire at the end of 2024.


She will work in a transitional role until the end of the year and assumes her new role and responsibilities as president in California starting Jan. 1, 2025.


Balfour Beatty is an industry-leading provider of general contracting, at-risk construction management and design-build services for public and private sector clients across the United States.


Performing heavy civil and vertical construction, the company is part of Balfour Beatty plc (LSE: BBY), a leading international infrastructure group.


Balfour Beatty is ranked among the top domestic building contractors in the United States by Engineering News-Record.

Carolina Handling Celebrates Anniversary With 58 for 58 Giveaway

Carolina Handling is celebrating its 58th anniversary in 2024 with a yearlong campaign entitled "Handling Hunger Together" to assist hunger relief organizations throughout the company's five-state footprint, which includes South Carolina.


According to Feeding America, more than 44 million people in the U.S. face hunger each year, including 1 in 5 children.


In 2022, 49 million people turned to food banks and other charitable organizations to help feed their families.


About 8 million pounds of food was collected and delivered to feeding organizations in 2023, according to Move for Hunger, with food banks in need of pallet jacks, lift trucks and other material handling equipment to move non-perishables and fresh produce.


"There are numerous organizations throughout the Southeast that receive, store and distribute thousands of pounds of food each year to feed the hungry in their communities," said Carolina Handling President and CEO Brent Hillabrand.


Hillabrand added, "The logistics of that can be overwhelming to organizations that don't have applicable, reliable equipment. That's where companies like Carolina Handling can help."


In celebration of Carolina Handling's 58 years in business in 2024, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based intralogistics company is giving away 58 motorized pallet jacks to hunger relief organizations throughout its territory, which includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida's Central time zone.


The Raymond 8210 electric pallet jacks are used 2016 and newer models with battery packs.


They will be awarded on a first-requested basis to qualifying organizations completing a submission form on the Carolina Handling website. Equipment will be delivered to all recipients at no charge.


For more information and to apply to receive a Raymond 8210 motorized walkie pallet jack, go to

Salem Radio Network Host Mike Gallagher Returns on the Air in Greenville, SC

Salem Media Group, Inc. (OTCQX: SALM) announced that Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher will be returning to the airwaves in Greenville, South Carolina, starting Monday, May 6th, 10am to noon.


This is the station that launched his career as a radio talk show host some 35 years ago.


His fans in Greenville can hear him on the Audacy station, NewsTalk 98.9 WORD-FM, the Voice of the Carolinas.


"This community is where I met my wife, where we raised our kids, and will always be home to me," Gallagher said. "To return to the same station where my ride began all those years ago is simply incredible."


He added, "Many thanks to Audacy Market Manager Steve Sinicropi and Ops Manager Mark Hendrix for putting this deal together. I can't wait to get back on the air there. Who says you can't go home again?"


Salem Media Group sold WGTK-FM last fall, and that meant Gallagher and other hosts on that station were no longer able to be heard on the local station. 


Salem Media Group is a leading multimedia company specializing in Christian and conservative content, with media properties comprising radio, digital media and book and newsletter publishing.

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