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The state's Public Service Commission orders SCE&G to begin lowering rates for customers this summer

The State's Public Service Commission has ordered utility company SCE&G to begin lowering their rates by 15 percent beginning this summer. (Source: WIS) The State's Public Service Commission has ordered utility company SCE&G to begin lowering their rates by 15 percent beginning this summer. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Electric rates are set to be lowered for SCE&G customers by 15 percent, starting with this August's billing cycle. The Public Service Commission (PSC) gave the order to SCE&G on Tuesday afternoon. 

Under new state law, April, May, June and July rates are to also be discounted by 15 percent. That means that

SCE&G will have to issue a credit on customers’ bills in the August cycle, reflecting 15 percent of what customers paid for electricity in April, May, June, and July.

Customers at the PSC meeting where the order was made official were pleased, for the most part. Some only wanted more than a temporary rate discount.

"This 15 percent will be a good start. I’m concerned that it needs to go farther than that, and I’m hoping again that with the hearing in November, that Public Service Commission will order SCE&G to reduce rates on a more permanent basis," customer Pamela Greenlaw said. 

The new rate called an "experimental" one is estimated to last through December 2018. That doesn't offer enough relief, in another customer's opinion. 

“Fifteen-percent off of a bill I feel like is a joke. You know, just trying to get people to forget about it for a short-term period," Melton said.  

Melton is the co-owner of Broad River Campground in Fairfield County, which took a hit when the reactors at V.C. Summer was abandoned nearly one year ago. “I would also like to see them come back and uh, finish this plant that they started," he added. 

The utility is fighting back against the rate discount and filed a lawsuit requesting a federal court to stop the discount from happening. They call the rate forced on them by lawmakers unfair and unconstitutional. We wait on a court ruling to learn how that could affect all of this.

The PSC is required to order the rate decrease, under new South Carolina law; in SCE&G's new lawsuit, the company calls the law unconstitutional and says it unfairly singles them out. 

Check back for more updates. 

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