You Paid For It: Powering government

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - What does it cost to power our government?

We noticed some of the highest payments in city and county check registers every month are to electric companies such as SCE&G.

It takes a lot of power to keep the lights on in and outside of government buildings and hallways, plus power street lights and computers.

Some governments also saw an increase in power bills during the cold weather snap.

For example, the City of Charleston paid $547,012.66 in February and about half of that, $278,151.64,  was for street lights alone.

The City of North Charleston made payments to SCE&G totaling $337,245.85 in January for electricity, facilities, special projects and "reserve" payments. $146,190.74 was for street lights alone.

In February, Sullivan's Island paid more than $15,000, Isle of Palms was more than $20,000 and Summerville paid more than $80,000.

Next time you feel a bit safer walking down a well-lit street, remember that you paid for it!

The goal of the Live 5 'You Paid For It' segment is to show and explain government spending and increase transparency for taxpayers. If you have an idea, email

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