The Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved a reported 2.6% rate hike for South Carolina Electric and Gas customers, which is set to take effect in October. Here are three things that you can expect along with the hikes–
Brace yourself for more rate hikes. While prices tend to increase over time due to inflationary pressure, local factors are influencing the rate hikes. This is the eighth hike tied to construction of two nuclear reactors in Jenkinsville. The Office of Regulatory Staff is set to review the hikes in conjunction with delays and the project being over budget. But according to a 2007 state law, the company may seek rate hikes on an annual basis.
Alternative sources of energy are getting cheaper as utilities increase. If you live in an area where service from only one power company is available, you might notice a lack of affordable options. But alternative energy sources like solar power are becoming more accessible. Even SCE&G, which services 22,000 square miles in the state, offers net metering. Their program credits customers for their unused solar energy according to their current electric rates.
Residents who install an Energy-Star solar systems before the end of 2016 can claim 30 percent of the cost as a federal tax credit for the year it was installed, according to Intuit.
It’s going to be a cold–and possibly expensive–winter. Temperatures are projected to be warmer than average in November, and colder than average from December through February, according to MyEnergy. The combination of chilly temperatures and higher energy rates threaten to make this winter more expensive than average. The average December electric bill in South Carolina is $165.63. January bills average $183.04, and February bills average $172.52.