South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G), a unit of SCANA Corp., filed with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff for an overall 2.97 percent increase to its approved electric rates under provisions of a state law known as the Base Load Review Act, or BLRA.
The BLRA effectively reduces the cost of building nuclear power plants in South Carolina by allowing the state’s regulated utilities to adjust rates annually during construction of nuclear plants to recover related financing costs.
SCE&G and state-owned utility Santee Cooper are building two nuclear electric-generating units at the site of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C.
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 pay through rates for related costs such as the cost of capital, depreciation, property taxes and insurance associated with the project. SCE&G estimates this will save its customers about $4 billion in electric rates over the life of the new units.
If the PSC approves the filing, SCE&G’s approved electric rates would increase in October as follows:
- 3.10 percent for residential customers (the monthly bill of a customer using 1,000 kWh of electricity would increase $4.32, going from $138.11 to $142.43)
- 3.04 percent for small commercial customers
- 3.07 percent for medium commercial customers
- 2.66 percent for large commercial/industrial customers.
SCE&G is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to about 673,000 customers in South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to about 325,000 customers throughout the state.
SCANA Corp., headquartered in Cayce, S.C., is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses.
This article was originally published on Electric Light & Power/POWERGRID International. It was republished with permission.