Columbia, SC, (April 27, 2009) - South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), announced today that the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (Commission) has approved a settlement agreement between SCE&G, the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) and all other parties of record regarding SCE&G’s request for an adjustment to the fuel cost portion of its electric rates.
The Commission and ORS annually review the costs SCE&G incurs in purchasing fuel to operate its electric generation facilities. The company is then directed to adjust base rates either upward or downward to reflect those costs. Approved fuel costs are billed as a direct pass-through to customers; SCE&G cannot, and does not, earn a profit on that portion of its rates. Fuel costs currently represent about 31 percent of what a residential customer pays for a kilowatt hour of electricity.
Under terms of the settlement agreement, residential electric rates will increase approximately 2.44 percent resulting in an overall increase in the average monthly electric bill for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours in the amount of $2.80 beginning in May 2009. The company is deferring a portion of the increase over a three year period, effectively reducing the monthly increase for customers.
“We are pleased with the decision of the Commission. With the economic challenges so many of our customers are facing today, we thought it best to spread this cost out over a longer period which, in turn, will lessen the financial impact on customers,” said Kevin Marsh, president of SCE&G.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 650,000 customers in 26 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 307,000 customers in 34 counties in the state. More information about SCE&G is available at www.sceg.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
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. 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 short- and long-term financing efforts, including future prospects for obtaining access to capital markets and other sources of liquidity; (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, construct and finance 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.