The Latest: South Carolina utility rate cut gets board’s OK
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on an effort to stop a utility rate cut enacted by South Carolina regulators (all times local):
Customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. appear likely to get a 15-percent rate cut after the state’s Public Service Commission voted to enact the reduction ordered by lawmakers following a multi-billion dollar failed nuclear project.
The utility had sought to use a higher rate to recover the costs of the project.
The State newspaper of Columbia reports commissioners voted unanimously Monday to put the cut into effect. SCE&G had wanted a federal court to stop state regulators from cutting the rates it charges to recover the costs of the failed project.
The commission is expected to move forward with slashing SCE&G’s electric rates at a hearing on Tuesday, barring a successful legal challenge by the utility.
SCE&G says it’s unfair to cut its rates and change the rules for collecting ratepayers’ money for the project a decade after work stated. It says the law passed last week amounts to the state unconstitutionally taking its property and denying it the due process of law.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. is asking a federal court to stop state regulators from cutting the rates it charges to recover the costs of a failed nuclear project.
News outlets report the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court accuses South Carolina lawmakers of passing an unconstitutional law to force SCE&G to pay for the abandonment of two nuclear reactors under construction in Fairfield County.
The Public Service Commission was to meet Monday afternoon to consider cutting SCE&G’s rates by 15 percent while regulators decide who should pay for the project’s failure, a decision due by the end of the year.
State lawmakers last week ordered the PSC to cut SCE&G’s rates by 15 percent within five days. Eighteen percent of SCE&G customers’ rates are currently going to pay for the reactors. That rate amounts to $27 monthly for the typical residential customer. The law passed last week would cut that to $5 a month.