With the economy in recession, jobs scarce and rate payers reeling from bills jacked sky high by one of the coldest winters on record, Sharon Taylor of Columbia thinks this is a lousy time for an electric rate hike.
“We in South Carolina are already suffering,” she told members of the S.C. Public Service Commission at a public hearing Monday on a proposed 4.88 percent rate hike. “We have the highest unemployment rate in the country, and businesses are not going to grow if you raise rates. Any increase now is inappropriate and insensitive.”
Doris Caldwell of Columbia, immaculately dressed and wearing a Sunday hat, said in a soft voice: “This is a call for mercy.”
SCE&G requested the rate hike to help pay for government-mandated environmental upgrades, such as scrubbers at coal-fired plants. A decision is expected in about a month.