Oct. 31, 2005 - Gastonia, NC - PSNC Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), announced today that the North Carolina Utilities Commission has approved an increase to the purchased gas component of the company's retail natural gas rates, effective for November bills. The increase will raise the company's total year-round residential rate by 11 percent, from approximately $1.56 per therm to approximately $1.74 per therm. This increase translates into a monthly increase of approximately $18 based on an average natural gas usage of 100 therms per month during the winter heating season, which runs November through March.
"We are extremely concerned about our customers as we head into the winter heating season, said PSNC Energy President and COO Jerry Richardson. "I cannot stress enough how important it is for folks to take steps to make their homes more energy efficient, to conserve on their usage and to call us sooner rather than later about payment issues."
Wholesales prices for natural gas have spiked over the past two months due to supply disruptions caused by damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Because of high wholesale costs, PSNC Energy must increase its purchased gas component. PSNC Energy does not earn a profit on the "cost of gas" component of its natural gas rates. The adjustment is passed directly to customers in accordance with state regulations so that the company can recover its costs associated with purchasing the fuel.
PSNC Energy, headquartered in Gastonia, N.C., is franchised to serve a 28-county service area in North Carolina. The utility distributes natural gas to approximately 407,000 customers in 96 cities and communities, including the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas in the north central part of the state; the Concord, Statesville, Gastonia, and Forest City areas in the Piedmont; and the Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard, and Sylva areas in the western part of the state. More information about PSNC Energy is available through the company's web site at www.psncenergy.com.
SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. The company serves approximately 597,000 electric customers in South Carolina and more than one million natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the company's website at www.scana.com.