Santee Cooper board approves rate increase

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Santee Cooper Board of Directors have authorized a two-year rate adjustment that will increase rates for customers an average 7 percent over the next two years.

The board authorized the adjustment late Tuesday.

The first adjustment of 3.5 percent will take effect Dec. 1, 2012, and the second, on Dec. 1, 2013.

According to a press release, adjustments will help Santee Cooper meet increased costs associated with new generation, primarily the ongoing V.C. Summer Nuclear Station expansion, and to comply with new environmental regulations.

Santee Cooper's base rates have not increased since November 2009, the release states.

"In considering this rate adjustment, the board reviewed an independent rate analysis, management's proposal, and the comments and input we received from the public," said Santee Cooper Chairman O.L. Thompson.

"I know that times remain tough for many of our customers. The fact is, Santee Cooper has already cut or deferred $1.8 billion in capital expenses and approved other cost-saving measures the past two years. We are now at a point where we must increase revenues to ensure we can fulfill our statutory requirements to recover our costs, meet new environmental regulations and build generation that is important to South Carolina's future."

The rate adjustment affects residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and lighting customers.

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