Higher electric bills are on the horizon for Santee Cooper customers.
The company’s board of directors approved proposed rate adjustments that will result in an average 3.5 percent hike in each of the next two years, starting Dec. 1, 2012.
The changes, according to company spokeswoman Mollie Gore, are necessary to meet increased costs for new environmental regulations and the generation of new power sources.
Santee Cooper hasn’t raised rates since Nov. 2009. The rate increase will affect the company’s 164,000 electric customers in eastern South Carolina.
The board’s vote comes after company officials held a series of public hearings in its direct customer coverage area in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties.
“I know that times remain tough for many of our customers,” said Santee Cooper Chairman O.L. Thompson. “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 adjustments will affect residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and lighting customers. Specific information about the changes can be found at santeecooper.com/rates.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.