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Gastonia, N.C., March 31, 2008 – PSNC Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), filed an application today with the North Carolina Utilities Commission requesting a general increase of approximately $20.4 million, or 2.99 percent, in annual revenue. If the request is approved, the average residential customer would see a monthly increase of approximately $2.98.
The rate increase request is the direct result of the company’s need to recover costs related to operating and expanding its pipeline system. Since its last rate case filing in 2006, PSNC Energy has spent more than $188 million to upgrade and extend its gas delivery system. The company has installed more than 900 miles of transmission and distribution mains and added nearly 32,000 customers to its system.
“We serve one of the faster growing service territories in the country, and we are continuing to invest in our system to meet the needs of our customers,” said PSNC Energy President and Chief Operating Officer Rusty Harris. “We must be able to recover costs associated with maintaining and growing our infrastructure. Doing so is essential to our ability to continue providing safe and reliable natural gas service to our customers.”
In its rate case application, PSNC Energy is also requesting to implement a customer usage tracker (CUT), a rate decoupling mechanism that breaks the link between revenues and the amount of natural gas sold. If approved, the CUT would apply to residential and commercial customers and would allow the company to periodically adjust its base rates based on customer consumption.
Finally, PSNC Energy is proposing several conservation initiatives and asking the Commission to approve recovery of costs associated with them. The company’s proposed initiatives include an in-home energy audit and weatherization program, a rebate program for customers who replace existing natural gas appliances with more efficient natural gas equipment, and discount rates for homes and businesses that meet certain energy efficient standards.
“Our customers have demonstrated their interest in conservation measures, and we want to support their efforts,” said Harris.
PSNC Energy does not expect the Commission to rule on its request until this fall.