SCE&G rate increase takes effect this month

      CAYCE, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. will increase rates by 2.3 percent this month to help pay for a planned expansion at its nuclear power plant in Jenkinsville.

      The company said in a news release that regulators approved the increase last week for bills going out on or after Oct. 30. The typical monthly bill of a customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will increase about $3.

      It's a slightly smaller increase than the company had requested in May after a state Supreme Court ruling said SCE&G could not charge customers for contingency costs.

      The Public Service Commission last year agreed to let SCE&G raise rates an average of 2 percent a year through 2019 to prepay the financing costs on its $4.5 billion share of the two new reactors.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)