COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A public hearing was held Monday night to discuss SCE&G's request to raise it's rate by five percent. Forty people pleaded for the Public Service Commission to deny SCE&G's request to raise rates on customers.
"You just keep using money from people that don't have it," claimed Carmen Daniels.
The rate raise would start in July and rise through the next two years. If you use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, you would pay an extra $5.75 for every 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.
The company says it needs this extra money to raise $101 million a year for federally mandated environmental upgrades.
"We realize the challenges our customers are up against are real," said SCE&G's Eric Boomhower.
Boomhower says the company originally requested a 9.5 percent increase before being negotiated down.
"If we don't get what we're asking for, the implications are that we lose the investors who have the option obviously of taking their money and putting it somewhere else," said Boomhower. "Ultimately what happens then is the cost to the customer goes even higher."
"They need to use their money properly, and not lay it entirely on the feet of the forced customers of the state of South Carolina," said customer Debbie Hacker.
Boomhower says there is no other option for the company. As for fairness, Boomhower says it's completely fair.
"Absolutely, we believe it's fair," said Boomhower. "It's never a good time to have to go in for it."