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SOUTH CAROLINA ELECTRIC & GAS COMPANY GRANTED $60.5 MILLION TWO-PHASE ELECTRIC RATE INCREASE

 COLUMBIA, S.C., May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG) announced today that The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC) has granted a $60.5 million, or 7.4 percent annual increase in retail electric base rates for South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), SCANA's principal subsidiary. The approved rates are to be implemented in two phases over a two-year period as requested by the company.
 At a meeting held today, the PSC voted to base the approved rates on an 11.5 percent authorized return on common equity (47.8 percent of total capitalization) within an accepted range of 11.5 percent to 12.0 percent. That resulted in an approved overall return on rate base of 9.8 percent. The first phase of the increase, approximately $42.0 million, or 5.1 percent on an annual basis, will become effective in June 1993. The PSC also approved an additional increase amounting to approximately $18.5 million, or 2.2 percent annually that is scheduled to become effective in June 1994. The $60.5 million total annual revenue increase granted by the PSC represents approximately 79 percent of the $76.3 million revised increase requested by SCE&G. The company said details of the PSC's decision will be available when it receives the Commission's written order in about a week.
 In its original application filed December 7, 1992, SCE&G requested an increase in retail electric base rates of $93.1 million, or 11.4 percent annually, to be implemented in two phases - $72.9 million in June 1993 and $20.2 million in June 1994. The first phase of the requested increase was due to the impact of inflation on operating expenses, expenses as a result of environmental improvements and investment in facilities to meet system requirements since the company's last general increase in retail electric base rates nearly four years ago. The second phase of the increase is solely attributable to ongoing construction of the Cope Generating Station, a 385 MW baseload coal-fired generating facility scheduled to be completed in 1996.
 Prior to the start of public hearings before the PSC in late March 1993, SCE&G reduced the amount of its original request by approximately 18 percent to $76.3 million on an annual basis - $57.2 million in Phase I and $19.1 million in Phase II. That reduction primarily reflected a lower requested return on common equity (from 13.05 percent to 12.05 percent) resulting from the decline in interest rates in financial markets since the case was originally filed.
 The lower return on common equity authorized by the PSC (11.5 percent vs 12.05 percent requested) accounted for approximately $7.9 million of the $15.8 million total reduction in the company's revised annual revenue increase request. Adjustments to certain expense and rate base items affecting Phase I rates stipulated to by SCE&G and the PSC Staff reduced the requested increase by approximately $4.2 million. Miscellaneous other adjustments lowered the approved total revenue increase by another $3.4 million.
 One of the key components of the PSC's decision is its approval of SCE&G's request to earn a current return on construction expenditures related to the Cope plant. This facility is being built under an essentially fixed-price contract. Since future expenditures under this type of contract are "known and measurable," SCE&G asked the PSC to include Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) in rate base through May 1994 without an offset for Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC). This will allow SCE&G to recover in current rates the carrying costs on its investment in the Cope plant while it is under construction. This regulatory treatment benefits SCE&G's customers by reducing the project's overall cost and minimizing the size of future rate increases associated with bringing the new plant into rate base.
 The PSC also authorized inclusion of approximately $4.0 million in electric base rates to reflect the increase in SCE&G's postretirement benefit costs under Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106. That amount includes amortization over a 20- year period of the company's transition obligation (approximately $60 million).
 SCE&G, headquartered in Columbia, S.C., is a combination utility that provides service to approximately 464,000 retail electric customers and more than 232,000 natural gas customers in portions of South Carolina.
 -0- 5/25/93
 /CONTACT: H. John Winn, Manager-Investor Relations & Shareholder Services, SCANA Corporation, 803-748-3240/
 (SCG)


CO: SCANA Corporation; South Carolina Electric & Gas Company ST: South Carolina IN: UTI SU:

CM -- CH008 -- 2242 05/25/93 14:29 EDT
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Date:May 25, 1993
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