SCE&G receives approval from Public Service Commission For $3 Million Winter Assistance Fund Program
Eric Boomhower
803-217-7701
eboomhower@scana.com  


Dec. 8, 2005, Columbia, SC - The South Carolina Public Service Commission today approved SCE&G's plan to utilize $3 million in federal tax credits to assist financially challenged natural gas customers with energy bills.
 
The funds will be distributed through a partnership with the Governor's Office, Office of Economic Opportunity, and local community action agencies. Only SCE&G natural gas customers are eligible for the funds. Customers who anticipate problems paying their energy bills and meet the government poverty guidelines should call their local community action agency on or after Monday, Dec. 12, to set up an appointment.

Qualified customers whose applications are approved will receive a one-time credit of $250 to their heating bills after Jan. 1. Priority will be given to those who are disabled/handicapped or elderly, and to families with young children (ages 5 and under), or households whose energy bills are more than 20 percent of household income. Customers must present their most recent SCE&G bill at the time of application, along with a photo ID, proof of income and social security number.

"We are pleased with the Public Service Commission’s decision to allow us to create this Winter Assistance Fund," said SCE&G President Neville Lorick. "This program should help some of our most vulnerable customers stay warm this winter."

The higher costs facing natural gas users throughout the United States are being driven primarily by the damage done to production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. SCE&G passes along the cost of natural gas to customers without markup and is not allowed a profit on this cost. Customers could see up to a 45 percent increase on their natural gas bills this winter (based on 100 therms usage).

To qualify for Winter Assistance Funds, households must have a combined income of 175 percent of the poverty level or below qualify (see chart below). 

Size of family unit

175 Percent of Poverty

1

$16,748

2

$22,453

3

$33,863

4

$28,158

5

$39,568

6

$45,273

7

$50,978

8

$56,683


*For family units with more than 8 members, add $4,890 for each additional member.
*List of community action agencies is attached.


PROFILE

SCE&G is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 597,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 283,000 customers in 34 counties in the state.

SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, SC, is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations, telecommunications and other energy-related businesses. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the Company’s website at www.scana.com.


COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCIES

SCE&G residential natural gas customers meeting qualifications can apply for the Winter Assistance Funds at the following agencies. Customers should call their local agency to make an appointment beginning Dec. 12.

Aiken/Barnwell/Lexington Counties Community Action Commission
Aiken/Barnwell counties
(803) 648-6836

Lexington County
(803) 803-794-6778

Beaufort/Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission
Beaufort/Jasper counties
(843) 843-525-7432

Berkeley-Dorchester County Economic Development Corporation
Berkeley/Dorchester counties
(843) 843-761-8244

Carolina Community Actions
Chester, Fairfield, York, Union, Lancaster counties
(803) 803-329-5195

Charleston County Human Services Commission
Charleston county
(843) 843-723-9285

Chesterfield-Marlboro Economic Opportunity Council
Chesterfield/Marlboro counties
(843) 843-320-9760

Darlington County Community Action Agency
Darlington County
(843) 843-332-1136

GLEAMNS Human Resources Commission
Greenwood, Laurens, Edgefield, Abbeville, McCormick, Saluda, Newberry counties
(864) 223-8434

Lowcountry Community Action
Colleton/Hampton counties
(843) 843-549-5576

O-C-A-B Community Action Agency
Orangeburg, Calhoun, Allendale, Bamberg counties
(803) 803-536-1027

Pee Dee Community Action Agency
Florence, Dillon, Marion counties
(843) 843-678-3400

Salvation Army
Richland County
(803) 803-765-0260

Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council
Horry, Georgetown, Williamsburg counties
(843) 234-4100

Wateree Community Actions
Sumter, Kershaw, Clarendon, Lee, Richland counties
(803) 803-775-4354
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