June 16, 2008
SCE&G Files for Gas Base Rate Increase
The South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, principal subsidiary of the Scana Corporation, has filed with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina for a 0.87% overall increase to its retail natural gas base rates.
The South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) is filing for the adjustment under terms of the Natural Gas Rate Stabilization Act. The statute, which went into effect in 2005, is designed to reduce volatility of customer rates by allowing for more efficient recovery of the costs that regulated utilities incur in expanding, improving and maintaining natural gas service infrastructure to meet the needs of customers.
The law also works to reduce customer rates when increased revenues cause a utility's earnings to exceed the return-on-equity range authorized by the PSC.
The information supporting SCE&G's filing will be reviewed by the ORS, which will issue an audit report by September 1, 2008. The Public Service Commission (PSC) will then review SCE&G's filing and the ORS audit report and will issue an order in October 2008. The rate adjustment would be implemented with the first billing cycle of November 2008.
The proposed overall 0.87% increase to natural gas rates breaks out as a 1.48% increase for residential customers, 0.62% increase for small and medium commercial customers and 0.48% for large commercial and industrial customers. If the request is approved, residential customers will pay about $13.50 more a year, for natural gas based on average annual usage.