Published June 18, 2012
South Carolina Electric & Gas has filed a request with state regulators to increase retail natural gas rates by an average of 2.4%. The rate hike, if approved, would raise about $8.8 million in revenue, the utility said.
Even with the proposed rate increase, customer bills on average will be down from a year ago based on current wholesale costs, said Keller Kissam, president of SCE&G’s retail operations.
"Approximately 40% of what our customers are paying for natural gas is a direct pass-through of the costs we incur purchasing and transporting natural gas from the wholesale market," Kissam said. "Those costs are down significantly. At present levels, residential bills will actually be about $11 less annually compared to a year ago, based on average usage."
Here’s how the proposed rate hike will affect different classes of SCE&G gas customers:
- 4.44% increase for residential customers.
- 2.18% increase for small and medium commercial customers.
- 1.54% increase for large commercial and industrial customers.
Information supporting the filing will be reviewed by the Office of Regulatory staff, which will issue an audit report by Sept.1. The state Public Service Commission will review SCE&G’s filing and the audit report and issue an order in October. If approved, the rate increase would be effective with the first billing cycle of November, SCE&G said.
SCE&G is a principal subsidiary of Cayce-based energy provider SCANA.