The Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina has approved an increase of $64.4 million, or about 2.66 percent (Docket No. 2016-224-E), to the retail electric rates of South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G),the utility announced on October 19.
SCE&G, a subsidiary of SCANA, serves about 706000 electric customers and 352,000m natural gas customers in the Palmetto State.
This time, the utility stated, its electric customers will break even. As anticipated, the rate adjustment earlier in 2016 (Docket No. 2005-2-E/178571) to pass lower fuel costs associated with generating and purchasing power to meet the needs of customers more than offsets this increase for electric customers.
“By passing lower fuel costs from our efforts to ensure a balanced and diversified fuel mix, residential customers will receive lower bills for similar usage at the end of 2016 than they received at the end of 2015,” said SCE&G COO Steve Byrne.
SCE&G filed for the increase in June under provisions of South Carolina’s Base Load Review Act (BLRA), a law enacted in 2007 to add structure and consistency to the process SCE&G and other regulated electric utilities must follow when building power plants.
SCE&G and Santee Cooper, a state-owned electric and water utility in South Carolina, are working to build two 1,117-megawatt (MW) nuclear electric-generating units at the site of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. The BLRA allows for annual adjustments to rates during construction of the units as a means of recovering only the financing costs associated with the project.
As a result of the PSC approval, SCE&G’s approved electric rates would increase as follows:
- A hike of 2.69 percent for residential customers. The monthly bill of a customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity would increase $3.86, going from $143.67 to $147.53. The monthly bill at the end of 2016 is lower than the bill of $149.58 at the end of 2015.
- An increase of 2.59 percent for small commercial customers
- An uptick of 2.83 percent for medium commercial customers
- A raise of 2.57 percent for large commercial/industrial customers.
The new rates will be effective for bills rendered on and after November 27.