Atlanta, GA, June 23, 2005 - The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today voted to retain SCANA Energy as Georgia's regulated provider of natural gas and implemented new changes that translate into significant savings for low-income senior citizens. SCANA Energy is a unit of SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG).
The PSC changes will result in substantial savings for Georgia's low-income senior citizens being served by the regulated provider. The PSC authorized a five-fold increase in the discount for low-income seniors, from 2 cents per therm to 10 cents. It also reduced the monthly customer service fee to $3.95 from $4.95, and waived a $100 deposit for new entrants into the program.
"Our hope is that these new savings will result in more eligible seniors and low-income citizens taking advantage of this vital program," said George Devlin, vice president and general manager of SCANA Energy. SCANA has served as regulated provider since the inception of the program.
"We are pleased to continue in the important role of providing natural gas service to the elderly and low-income, and to help citizens who have no other source for natural gas," said Devlin. "We believe that as Georgia's first and only regulated provider since deregulation, regulators and customers alike have come to rely upon SCANA Energy for affordable, dependable natural gas service to Georgians who need us most."
The Georgia General Assembly mandated the appointment of a regulated provider in 2002 to ensure that elderly and low-income Georgians were afforded natural gas at lower rates. Under the Natural Gas Consumers' Relief Act, the regulated provider offers natural gas at special rates to those who meet low-income requirements set by the Georgia Department of Human Resources.
The regulated provider also serves as provider of last resort to natural gas customers who have been refused service by other marketers. Approximately 65,000 Georgians are currently receiving service under both programs.
"The General Assembly was wise to put in place a program aimed at protecting the state's neediest citizens," said Brett Newsom, SCANA Energy's Director of Pricing and Regulatory Affairs. "Thousands of citizens have stepped forward to take advantage of the program, and there would be no program in place were it not for the vision of the General Assembly and the PSC."
SCANA Energy competed for the role of regulated provider in 2002 and was awarded the first two-year term. Last year, the PSC extended SCANA Energy's participation for another year. This year's award calls for another two-year term, with the option of a one-year extension.
"Our regulated provider program has experienced impressive growth since its inception in August 2002," said Devlin. "We think that shows a need for the program. We remain committed to the program, and to providing natural gas service for all of our customers."
For further information, call SCANA Energy Regulated Division toll-free at
(866) 245-7742 or visit www.goscana.com. SCANA Energy, the second-largest marketer of natural gas in Georgia, continues to serve its more than 450,000 customers.
SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, is a registered holding company engaged, through subsidiaries, in regulated electric and natural gas utility operations and other diversified energy-related businesses. The Company serves approximately 590,000 electric customers in South Carolina and more than one million natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Information about SCANA Corporation and its businesses is available on the Company's web site at www.scana.com.