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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) — Santee Cooper is increasing its electric rates an average of 3.5 percent in each of the next two years.
The state-owned utility announced Wednesday the first rate adjustment takes effect on Dec. 1 with the second following on Dec. 1 of next year. The utility says its base rates have not increased in almost three years.
Santee Cooper says the increase is needed to comply with environmental regulations and meet costs of new power generation. Those costs include building a new $10 billion reactor at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant that Santee Cooper will operate jointly with South Carolina Electric & Gas.
Santee Cooper supplies power to about 2 million South Carolinians either directly or through electric cooperatives. The utility held hearings on the proposed rate increase earlier this summer.