COLUMBIA, S.C. (Nov. 2, 2007) – SCE&G’s residential customers will pay $1.65 more for natural gas this month than they did a year ago, based on average November usage of 33 therms, due to slight increases to the purchased-gas and base-rate components of customer bills.
The purchased-gas portion of customer rates increased 1.79 percent for November. Purchased-gas costs account for about 70 percent of a customer’s overall gas bill and are a direct pass-through of what SCE&G must pay on the wholesale market to purchase and transport natural gas to its customers; the company does not profit from this portion of its rates. With PSC approval, SCE&G last year began making monthly adjustments to this part of its rates.
The second change is a 1.72 percent increase to SCE&G’s base rates approved by the PSC in accordance with the Natural Gas Rate Stabilization Act of 2005. The statute is designed to reduce volatility of customer rates by allowing for more efficient recovery of the costs that regulated utilities incur in expanding, improving and maintaining natural gas service infrastructure to meet the needs of customers. The law also works to reduce customer rates when increased revenues cause a utility’s earnings to exceed the return-on-equity range authorized by the PSC.
SCE&G is a regulated public utility that provides natural gas service to approximately 297,000 customers in South Carolina. The company also is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 636,000 customers throughout the state. Information about SCE&G is available on the company’s web site at www.sceg.com.