This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

SCE&G Agrees Bill-adjusting Program Should End

By SEANNA ADCOX

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) a¿¿ Energy provider SCE&G agrees with a state agency that its complicated bill-adjusting program should end.

The Electric Weather Normalization Adjustment was designed in 2010 to protect customers against spikes in their bills during extreme weather. But the agency that represents the public in utility issues said last month it's so complex, only SCE&G can determine if customers are being correctly charged.

While it's a good idea in theory, it's worrisome that only the utility can make and verify the calculations, said Dukes Scott, executive director of the Office of Regulatory Staff.

In a joint petition filed last Wednesday, SCE&G agreed with his office's recommendation. But the Public Service Commission has the final say. Its board is expected to meet on the issue in coming weeks.

The petition asks the regulatory agency to order the adjustments to stop with bills issued from December meter readings. Others to sign off on the agreement include AARP, which intervened as the utility sought another proposed rate increase.

AARP members protested the complex billing at public hearings, "and they were right," said Teresa Arnold, AARP state director.

"They really came to our way of thinking on it," she said Tuesday about SCE&G. "I was pleasantly surprised and grateful for our members because they complained so much about it."

In the petition, SCE&G seeks permission to spend up to $300,000 to promote its budget billing program, which averages customers' usage costs over a year. The three-stage campaign would extend into mid-2014.

About 14 percent of customers already use budget billing, said utility spokesman Eric Boomhower. Arnold called it a better, budget-friendly payment option than the constantly fluctuating rates that made bills nearly impossible to understand.

Under the adjustment program, approved in 2010 following an unusually cold winter, electricity rates are lowered during months when temperatures are hotter or colder than usual and raised during milder-than-normal temperatures.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,081.11 +0.97 0.01%
S&P 500 2,116.36 -1.33 -0.06%
NASDAQ 5,078.1770 -13.9080 -0.27%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs