Cayce, SC, June 15, 2011 … South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), today filed with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff for a $8.64 million, or 2.14 percent, overall increase to its retail natural gas base rates.
SCE&G filed for the increase under terms of the Natural Gas Rate Stabilization Act, a South Carolina law designed to reduce fluctuations in customer rates by allowing for more efficient recovery of the costs regulated utilities incur in expanding, improving and maintaining natural gas service infrastructure. Information supporting the filing will be reviewed by the ORS, which will issue an audit report by Sept.1. The PSC will review SCE&G’s filing and the ORS audit report and issue an order in October. If approved, the rate increase would be effective with the first billing cycle of November.
Marty Phalen, SCE&G’s vice president of natural gas operations, said even with the proposed rate increase, customer bills on average will be down from a year ago based on current wholesale costs. “A little more than half of what our customers are paying for natural gas is a direct pass-through of the costs we incur purchasing and transporting natural gas from the wholesale market,” said Phalen. “Those costs are down significantly. At present levels, residential bills will actually be about $16 less annually compared to a year ago, based on average usage.”
The proposed overall 2.14 percent increase to natural gas rates breaks out as follows: 4.04 percent increase for residential customers 1.80 percent increase for small/medium general service customers 1.19 percent increase for large general service customers.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility that provides natural gas service to approximately 315,000 customers throughout South Carolina. The company also is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 663,000 customers throughout the state. More information about SCE&G is available on the company’s web site at www.sceg.com.
SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Cayce, South Carolina, is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses 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.
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 and estimated construction and other expenditures. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “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, regulations governing electric grid reliability, environmental regulations, and actions affecting the construction of new nuclear units; (3) current and future litigation; (4) changes in the economy, especially in areas served by subsidiaries of SCANA Corporation (SCANA, and together with its subsidiaries, the Company); (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 and transmission; (12) the results of efforts to attract and retain joint venture partners for South Carolina Electric & Gas Company’s (SCE&G) new nuclear generation project; (13) the ability of suppliers, both domestic and international, to timely provide the components, parts, tools, equipment and other supplies needed for our construction program, operations and maintenance; (14) 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; (15) the availability of skilled and experienced human resources to properly manage, operate, and grow the Company’s businesses; (16) labor disputes; (17) performance of SCANA’s pension plan assets; (18) changes in taxes; (19) inflation or deflation; (20) compliance with regulations; and (21) the other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the periodic reports filed by SCANA or SCE&G with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.