Saturday, May 15, 2010 - SCE&G and South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff Sign Second Stipulation Related to Electric Rate Filing - SCE&G and South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff Sign Second Stipulation Related to Electric Rate Filing:
Press Release
"Today’s stipulation relates to key aspects of the ORS’s examination of the company’s rate application, including an ORS recommendation that SCE&G apply more than $48 million in state tax credits to the benefit of its customers over the next two years.

SCE&G and the ORS entered into a previous stipulation, May 3, in which the parties mutually supported a 10.7 percent return on common equity, the 12-month pilot of a weather normalization mechanism for electric rates, and a one-time credit of $25 million to SCE&G’s electric customers. That credit would apply over the next year."

Spratt Testifies in Support the Rural Energy Savings Program Act

Spratt Testifies in Support the Rural Energy Savings Program Act:
"This bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House by Congressman Spratt and Congressman Clyburn. It establishes a nationwide Rural Energy Savings Program, modeled on the South Carolina Electric Cooperatives' plan to save their consumers money on their utility bills."

SCE&G agrees to lower request - Local / Metro -

SCE&G agrees to lower request - Local / Metro -
"Under the latest rate proposal, the average bill for a household using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity would rise by about $5.79 a month, or $69.48 a year, if approved.
In the face of a widespread public outcry, the power company said it would lower its rate request to roughly the same amount sought by the state Office of Regulatory Staff, which represents consumers in utility cases."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Climate Bill Cheat Sheet | Mother Jones

Climate Bill Cheat Sheet | Mother Jones:
"The draft is a complex attempt to balance competing demands. In a nod to environmentalists, it imposes some new restrictions on offshore drilling. And it retains the same key targets included in the House bill that passed last June: a 17 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2020 and an 83 percent reduction by 2050. But in a move to please polluters, it establishes a slower phase-in of carbon regulations for many of the country's biggest emitters. Utilities will be subject to carbon restrictions beginning in 2013, followed by manufacturers and other heavy emitters starting in 2016. The legislation also lavishes major financial incentives on coal, natural gas, and nuclear power."

E.P.A. Announces New Greenhouse Gas Emission Rule -

E.P.A. Announces New Greenhouse Gas Emission Rule -
"In the first two years, the E.P.A. expects the rule to affect about 15,550 sources, including coal-fired plants, refineries, cement manufacturers, solid waste landfills and other large polluters, said Gina McCarthy, the agency’s assistant administrator."

Columbia plan may lead to higher power bills - Local / Metro -

Columbia plan may lead to higher power bills - Local / Metro -
"The current franchise fee is 3 percent of every power bill. Gantt's proposal is to raise it to 5 percent, which is the maximum allowed under the city's franchise agreement with SCE&G. The fee is considered a pass-through fee, meaning SCE&G can automatically pass that cost along to its customers without asking state officials for a rate hike."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Obama - Energy Bill this Year

The Obama Presidency. Minute by Minute | POLITICO 44: "ENERGY BILL 'THIS YEAR': President Obama on Wednesday called on the Senate to pass energy legislation 'this year' and said the BP oil leak highlights the need for new energy policy."

The battle over climate bill begins (without Graham)- The Hill's E2-Wire

The battle over climate bill begins - The Hill's E2-Wire:
By Jim Snyder & Ben Geman - 05/11/10 08:42 PM ET"Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) will unveil a sweeping climate change and energy bill Wednesday that requires greenhouse gas reductions while offering major new incentives for nuclear power, coal, natural gas and offshore drilling."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

F.C.C. Weighs Plan to Warn of High Cellphone Bill -

F.C.C. Weighs Plan to Warn of High Cellphone Bill - "
“We’re issuing a Public Notice to see if there’s any reason that American carriers can’t use similar automatic alerts to inform consumers when they are at risk of running up a high bill,” he said. “This is an avoidable problem. Avoiding bill shock is good for consumers and ultimately good business for wireless carriers as well.”

Details on the “Bill Shock” initiative and instructions on how to file a public comment can be found at"

Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative refunds capital credits Anderson Independent Mail

Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative refunds capital credits Anderson Independent Mail:
"Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative has made a general refund of capital credits to its members. Checks totaling more than $600,000 were mailed to those who received electric service from the cooperative in 1984. Blue Ridge has made 28 consecutive annual capital-credit refunds. Through the years, the cooperative has returned more than $18.2 million to its members."

Post Tech - FCC's Clyburn criticizes corporations for misinformation on broadband reclassification

Post Tech

“An unfortunate reality is that having an open forum with reasonable and honest debate in this sphere appears unlikely,” Clyburn said. “Instead, the lobbying machine for some extremely powerful interests has already been churning out quote-worthy lines at a rapid rate.”

Specifically she said those interests have incorrectly said a federal court decision left the agency with no power to regulate the providers of Web access, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. The FCC still has ancillary authority over broadband services but is attempting to move those services under a different category that it clearly oversees.

Clyburn also tried to reassure the conference attendees that the agency wasn’t intent on applying all the burdensome rules to broadband providers that also apply to phone services. The FCC has said it would move to exempt broadband providers from 42 of the 48 rules for telecommunications services.

Monday, May 10, 2010

PSC Denies United Utility Companies' Application for a Rate Increase

On May 6, 2010, the PSC denied the application for United Utility Company for an increase in water and sewer rates.  Following is an excerpt from the Commission's directive, and a link to the complete document:

"Residents testified that they knew of neighbors who had been receiving service, but who had not been billed for that service for several years. The Company presented a survey based on three neighborhoods that found 51 customers out of a total of 464 billable customers who were receiving sewer service without being billed, which is roughly 11% of those customers. The Company presented testimony that surveys are being completed of the entire system, but that these had not been completed. The Company was unable to
provide information as to whether billing determinants include those customers who are receiving sewer service but are not being billed. There was also a dispute about the appropriate number of Single Family Equivalents that should be used to determine the sewer rates for North Greenville University. The Company was unwilling to conduct a survey of North Greenville University to determine the appropriate number of Single Family Equivalents that should be billed. And, finally, although the Company has agreed to credit the customers, there were a number of cases of proration of bills that resulted in overcharges to wastewater
customers. Because of these factors, this Commission has no means of determining the appropriate revenue requirement for sewer services for the Company.  Unfortunately, the appropriate revenue requirement for water services is also in doubt."

A full Commission order will follow.

Duke Sees Relationship with Chinese Banks in the Future

Charlotte Business Journal: Duke Energy sees Chinese banks in credit facility by 2012:
John Downey
"“I would predict that you will see Chinese banks participate in our credit facility in 2012,” he said after Duke’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday in Charlotte. “I hope they do. And I hope they participate in our debt and that they participate in ownership of our stock.”"

Progress Energy offers low-income benefits to NC customers

Progress Energy offers low-income benefits -
"The Neighborhood Energy Saver is being offered first to residents in neighborhoods surrounding Shaw University in downtown Raleigh. The Raleigh utility plans to offer the benefits to 4,500 homes in select low-income neighborhoods this year."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Duke seeks to dismiss worker retirement suit | | The Greenville News

Duke seeks to dismiss worker retirement suit | | The Greenville News:


"The plaintiffs allege Duke violated federal law when it converted from a traditional defined benefit plan, which offers workers fixed benefits based on the number of years they worked, to a cash balance plan, in which employees' benefits grow by a percentage of their pay plus interest each year."

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