SC utility criticized for proposed rate increase

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Businesses and residents across South Carolina are opposing a proposed 9.5 percent electricity rate increase by the state's largest private utility.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. says it needs the increase to pay for federally mandated environmental improvements to its plants and for its backup dam near Columbia.

Many customers have written letters to South Carolina's utility regulatory agency opposing the increase, saying it would pose a hardship in the current economy.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Sunday that the increase would be phased in over 18 months starting in July and would add about $140 a year to the typical residential power bill.

SCE&G began phasing in a 10-year rate increase last year to pay for a new nuclear plant.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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