While we were concentrating on SCE&G’s request to raise electricity rates by 3% and increase the cost to build its 2 nuclear reactors by $846 million, guess who slipped in with their 14.5% overall rate hike request?

Duke Energy Progress

For all you living and working in the Florence, Sumter and Myrtle Beach areas, according to the utility this will be the first such rate hike in 28 years.

That fact won’t make the rate hike any less painful for Duke Energy Progress’s 168,000 South Carolina customers. But at least it’s not SCE&G’s annual trip to the Public Service Commission (PSC) asking for and getting more money from its customers (almost 35% since January 2008).

Not surprisingly missing from Duke Energy Progress’s July 5th press release announcing their request was the Return on Equity they seek.

If you read my op.ed in the Lexington County Chronicle this past week, you know the importance of Return on Equity.  It’s the utility’s profit approved by the PSC.

SCE&G wants a 10.5% Return on Equity in its current rate hike request. What does Duke Energy Progress want?

More importantly, what will the PSC approve? It will make a HUGE difference in the size of the rate hike.

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