PETITION REGARDING RATE HIKE FOR SCE&G
We, the undersigned, request that the South Carolina Public Service Commission and Office of Regulatory Staff DENY SCE&G’s requested rate hike of nearly 10%. It is not sufficient that the hike be reduced; it must be denied entirely.
The signers of this petition protest this rate hike for the following reasons:
1. SCE&G claims its rate hike application “reflects the recovery of expenditures of more than $700 million on federally mandated environmental and safety initiatives.” Beyond the fact that it should have been operating in an environmentally proper manner without federal mandates, this expenditure should be considered as a cost of doing business and not be recovered by passing the cost on to its customers, purely for the benefit of stockholders.
2. Customers are still facing the 2.5% increase which was implemented in March 2009 to pay for two new nuclear power plants. Electricity generated by these plants will be SOLD to North Carolina for the benefit of SCANA. Where is the benefit to SC residents who paid for the plants?
3. SCE&G is wholly owned by SCANA Corporation. SCANA has increased the annual dividend rate on its common stock in 56 of the last 58 years. It projects a 6% increase in dividends hereafter, based in part on a ‘supportive regulatory environment.
4. SCANA reported earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2009 of $76 million. Revenue was $1.1 billion. The CEO and Chairman of the Board, William B. Timmerman, received a salary of nearly $1.2 million, plus a bonus of nearly $200,000.
5. Last September SCANA moved 900 employees into a new $142 million campus in Cayce, SC. It says the rate increase will not be used to pay for the building; obviously prior rate increases have already done that. SCANA’s abandonment of the building in downtown Columbia has caused a 30% decrease in business in that area.
6. SCE&G has a monopoly on its customers; we cannot simply switch electric companies like we switch grocery stores or gas stations if the cost goes up. SCE&G and SCANA are abusing us.
7. Berkeley Electric Cooperative has just announced a rate DECREASE of 7.3%; further BEC customers are already paying less per kilowatt than SCE&G customers.
SCANA cares nothing about the community or customers of SCE&G. The signers of this petition protest this rate hike and demand that it be denied.
Docket of South Carolina Public Service Commission and Office of Regulatory Staff re: this hike: http://dms.psc.sc.gov/dockets/dockets.cfc?Method=DocketDetail&DocketID=108956
Various letters to the editor re: impact of this hike: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/feb/17/sceg-rate-hike-request-amps-readers/