SCE&G ordered to lower customers' electric rates - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCE&G ordered to lower customers' electric rates

The Public Service Commission is ordering SCE&G to drop rates by 15 percent. (Source: Live 5) The Public Service Commission is ordering SCE&G to drop rates by 15 percent. (Source: Live 5)
The utility filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal court to block the rate drop. (Source: WIS) The utility filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal court to block the rate drop. (Source: WIS)

Relief for electric ratepayers is closer than ever to becoming reality after the state's Public Service Commission told SCE&G to drop rates by 15 percent.

The PSC plans to determine exactly when the drop will take effect in a meeting Tuesday. SCE&G told the agency they would like for the rate rollback to start in August.

However, they’ve filed a lawsuit against it happening at all.

At the Statehouse, legislators made their request for electric rate rollbacks official, under state law, on Thursday.

Some SCE&G customers are pleased.

“It’ll be nice to know that at the end of the month, when I get my SCE&G bill, there will be a little relief when I open that envelope,” customer Lorraine Simmons said.

But some also argue it’s still not enough of a discount on the nuclear charge for failed reactors they’ve been paying for years.

“You know I feel like I’m being held hostage because I either don’t pay the bill then I have no lights. I have no heat," she said. "You pay the bill, and then you suffer in your personal life because you’re having to pay these exorbitant rates.”

The Public Service Commission ordered SCE&G to lower rates for the nuclear reactors by 15 percent as they are instructed to do under new law.

For a customer with a $200 bill, that's $30 of savings each month.

But SCE&G is fighting back, with a lawsuit. The electric company claims this law for a temporary rate cut is unconstitutional, that it unfairly singles them out.

Ratepayers argue otherwise.

“And for them to continue to try to get us to pay for their mistake, I think is very very wrong,” Simmons said.

Once the rollback takes effect, if it is not blocked by a court, SCE&G would have to back-pay customers from April 1, on. 

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