BY KRISTY EPPLEY RUPON
For the first time, weather swings did not play a significant role in earnings, officials said. The utility had a weather normalization program in place for most of last year that evens out customers' bills during extreme weather and helps the utility better predict its income.
The earnings increase came despite an economically challenging year for South Carolina with its high unemployment and a stalled real estate market.
But utility officials are hopeful the recovery will continue. 'We continue to see customer growth in all areas we serve, and we're more optimistic for a sustained economic recovery,' said Jimmy Addison, senior vice president and chief financial officer.
Scana's projects its profits to grow 3 percent to 5 percent a year over the next three to five years, Addison said."