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South Carolina Electric and Gas Company proposed electricity rate increase

South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (SCE&G) and its largest subsidiary recently filed an application with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina to potentially raise retail electricity base rates by 6.61 percent.

Keller Kissam, president of retail operations for the company, said the increased rate, the first of which the company has proposed since 2010, was prompted by the need to improve overall grid reliability, and ensure compliance with stringent new government regulations.

"Since our last rate filing, we've spent nearly $300 million on upgrades and improvements to our electric transmission and distribution system in order to remain in compliance with federal law and to continue providing safe and reliable service to our customers," Kissam said.

The company said residents will feel see the benefits of improved reliability, which has helped the utility lower the time consumers spend without power by 20 percent.

In states where energy deregulation laws have been implemented, such as Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio, residents have the option to compare electricity rates in the event of a rate increase, such as SCE&G's recent proposal.