SCRN is hearing from many of our listeners who say they are recovering from sticker shock after opening their recent power bills. The company released a statement today saying a string of extreme cold days and nights earlier this month and the end of December has meant some South Carolina Electric & Gas customers are coping with higher natural gas and electric bills than normal.
SCE&G set a new record for winter peak demand on January 12, 2010 for electric use, exceeding the previous winter record set in January 2008. “We realize that with the recent long spell of cold weather and the resulting increase in demand for electricity that we will have a number of customers who will find it a hardship to pay their bill,” said Molly Morris, general manager of customer service.
Progress Energy, based out of Raleigh, N.C. also serves South Carolina customers. The utility says two weeks of below-normal temperatures and higher usage will be reflected in many Progress Energy Carolinas customers’ bills in the coming weeks.
Both companies a variety of payment programs that can defer or regulate billings. Recently approved rate increases do not go into effect until summertime and the increase for building a new nuclear plant went into effect about six months ago. “So this is all weather usage,” says SCE&G spokesman Scott Grigg.
Customers who want to arrange assistance should contact an SCE&G customer service representative at 800-251-7234 or go to a local SCE&G business office.
Progress programs can be found at www.progress-energy.com.