SCE&G Files for Rate Adjustment Under Base Load Review Act

Media Contact:
Eric Boomhower
803-217-7701
eboomhower@scana.com

Investor Contact:
Bryan Hatchell 
803-217-7458 
bhatchell@scana.com


Columbia, SC, May 29, 2009…South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), today filed with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC) and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) for an overall 1.1 percent increase to its electric rates under provisions of the Base Load Review Act (BLRA).

The BLRA is a state law enacted in 2007 to add structure and consistency to the process SCE&G and other regulated electric utilities must follow when building nuclear power plants. SCE&G and Santee Cooper, a state-owned electric and water utility in South Carolina, are planning to build two 1,117-megawatt nuclear electric-generating units at the site of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C. The first unit is expected to come on line in 2016, the second in 2019. The BLRA allows for annual adjustments to rates during construction of the units as a means of recovering financing costs associated with the project.

SCE&G President Kevin Marsh said paying financing costs while construction is ongoing, as opposed to waiting until the project has been completed, lowers the cost of building the new units by about $1 billion, which in turn reduces the amount customers will have to pay through rates for such things as the cost of capital, depreciation, property taxes and insurance associated with the project. “We estimate this will save our customers at least $4 billion in electric rates over the life of the new units,” he said.

If approved, today’s filing would increase electric rates at the end of October as follows:
 
  • 1.21 percent for residential customers
  • 1.07 percent for small commercial customers
  • 1.13 percent for medium commercial customers
  • 0.95 percent for large commercial/industrial customers.


The average monthly bill for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity would increase $1.42, going from $117.48 to $118.90.

As construction of the new nuclear plants continues, rates will be adjusted each year based on actual construction expenditures since the last increase. “The actual amount and timing of adjustments may vary from year to year,” said Marsh. “For instance, our costs for this project are lower to date than we had anticipated, so the 1.1 percent increase we filed for today is somewhat lower than the 2.8 percent increase we had forecasted in our initial BLRA application.”

In a report filed with the PSC and the ORS last week, SCE&G indicated that construction of the two nuclear units is proceeding in full compliance with the cost and schedule projections approved by the Commission earlier this year.

PROFILES
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 652,000 customers throughout central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 309,000 customers throughout 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 and other energy-related businesses. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the Company’s web site at www.scana.com.  


SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT – SCANA CORPORATION
Statements included in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” for purposes of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning key earnings drivers, customer growth, environmental regulations and expenditures, leverage ratio, projections for pension fund contributions, financing activities, access to sources of capital, impacts of the adoption of new accounting rules, estimated construction and other expenditures and factors affecting the availability of synthetic fuel tax credits. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar terminology. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and that actual results could differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) the information is of a preliminary nature and may be subject to further and/or continuing review and adjustment; (2) regulatory actions, particularly changes in rate regulation and environmental regulations; (3) current and future litigation; (4) changes in the economy, especially in areas served by subsidiaries of SCANA Corporation (SCANA); (5) the impact of competition from other energy suppliers, including competition from alternate fuels in industrial interruptible markets; (6) growth opportunities for SCANA’s regulated and diversified subsidiaries; (7) the results of financing efforts; (8) changes in SCANA’s or its subsidiaries’ accounting rules and accounting policies; (9) the effects of weather, including drought, especially in areas where the Company’s generation and transmission facilities are located and in areas served by SCANA's subsidiaries; (10) payment by counterparties as and when due; (11) the results of efforts to license, site and construct facilities for baseload electric generation; (12) the availability of fuels such as coal, natural gas and enriched uranium used to produce electricity; the availability of purchased power and natural gas for distribution; the level and volatility of future market prices for such fuels and purchased power; and the ability to recover the costs for such fuels and purchased power; (13) performance of SCANA’s pension plan assets; (14) inflation; (15) compliance with regulations; and (16) the other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the periodic reports filed by SCANA or South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.






South Carolina Electric & Gas Company
Annual Request For Revised Rates
To
The Public Service Commission of South Carolina

Highlights



Docket Number: 2009-211–E

Filing Period: Projected Twelve Months Ended June 30, 2009

Requested Effective Date:October 30, 2009

Requested in Application:
 
Annual Revenue Increase- $ $ 22.5 Million
  Annual Revenue Increase-%   1.1%
Cost of Capital 8.34%
Incremental CWIP $ 199 Million
Return on Common Equity 11.00%

Capital Structure and Cost of Capital:

Capital
Structure
 Ratio   Embedded
 Cost  
  Weighted Average
Cost of Capital
Long-Term Debt $2,871   48.73% 5.73%   2.79%
Preferred Stock 114 1.93    6.43    0.12   
Common Equity 2,908 49.34    11.00    5.43   
Total $5,893 100.00% 8.34%
            
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