State-owned power utility Santee Cooper says it will close three retail offices across South Carolina where customers can pay their bills in-person.
Santee Cooper hopes the plan can save about $1 million each year. The utility says it is creating a new mobile app and improving its site so ratepayers can settle bills online.
“We work to continuously improve the way we do business in order to provide reliable and affordable service for our customers,” Vice President of Retail Operations Mike Poston said in a statement. “We believe this cost-saving effort is the right decision for our customers and the bank partnerships will provide more options and a more cost-effective way to meet our customers’ needs.”
The impacted offices in Garden City, North Myrtle Beach and Conway will be closed over the spring and early summer. The utility said its retail offices in Myrtle Beach and Moncks Corner will remain open. The company’s call center will also remain in place.
Santee Cooper said fewer people have been visiting its various branches in recent years. The company is also trying to find ways to save money as it deals with billions in debt stemming from a nuclear project’s failure last year that it had invested heavily in.
Once the affected offices close, customers will still be able to pay their Santee Cooper bills in person at several banks, as well as at any Western Union agent. The banks include Anderson Brothers Banks in Horry and Georgetown County, all Coastal Carolina National Banks in Horry County, two Palmetto Heritage Banks in Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet, and one Conway National Bank located in Pawleys Island.