South Carolina Electric & Gas is seeking approval for a three percent rate hike, only nine months after state regulators granted a similar increase.
SCE&G filed the 2.99 percent increase (a little over $4 per month more for the average residential customer) request with the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Friday, according to the Associated Press. The utility says it is seeking the rate hike to help pay $70 million in construction costs this year for two nuclear reactors being built at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County. Those reactors are scheduled to open in 2017 and 2018 and will cost around $10 billion.
The PSC approved a 3.02 percent rate hike in September to also help pay for the project. That was the seventh rate increase to take effect under the state’s 2007 Base Load Review Act, which allows a utility to recoup its nuclear construction costs through electric rates. If this latest request is approved, SCE&G customers would be paying $20 more per month than they were in 2009.
The state Office of Regulatory Staff, which represents the public’s interest in utility issues, will examine the request. Eventually, the PSC will decide whether to approve the entire request, a smaller increase, or reject the request entirely.