SCE&G customers jolted by another rate hike proposal

Since 2005, SCE&G has increased rates four times.

SCE&G customers should be prepared to shell out more money for power.

Last Friday, the company filed for another increase under the Base Load Review Act, says Executive Director Dukes Scott of the State of S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff. That filing is about a 2.7 percent increase in revenues.

That 2.7 percent is in addition to the 4.4 percent hike the utility requested earlier this year to cover federally-mandated environmental improvements.

According to Scott of the increase is still pending with the Public Service Commission.

What was filed last Friday has to do with the two nuclear units being built, said Scott.

SCE&G needs $9.8 billion to pay for its nuclear plant expansion in Fairfield County.

It TMs a little ridiculous I think with the record amounts of money they make every year, and they want to take more money from us? said Columbia resident Eric Boatwright.

I think definitely for people my age, it TMs going to be more difficult, said Columbia resident Audrey Martinich.

Right now, the average bill for a household using 1,000 kilowatt hours is estimated to be $118 a month. If both rate proposals are approved, customers will pay an additional $6 month.

If approved, the first proposed rate hike will likely take effect in July, and the second could begin in early fall.