SC utility seeks nuclear plant related rate hike

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's largest investor-owned utility plans to increase electric rates 2.73 percent to help pay financing costs for two nuclear reactors it plans to build.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said in a news release Friday that the rate increase, set to take effect in October, will add about $3.33 to the monthly bill of a customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each month.

The increase must be approved by state utility regulators. The Public Service Commission last year signed off on allowing SCE&G to raise rates an average of 2 percent a year through 2019 to prepay the financing costs of the $4.5 billion the company expects to spend for its portion of 2 nuclear reactors.

The company is building the reactors with state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.