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State agency petitions to intervene in proposed sewer rate increase

Staff Report //January 22, 2020//

State agency petitions to intervene in proposed sewer rate increase

Staff Report //January 22, 2020//

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The S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs has petitioned to intervene in a proposed utility rate increase that could affect customers in Richland and Kershaw counties.

Palmetto Utilities Inc. has filed a utility rate increase request with the Public Service Commission to raise sewer charges for customers. If approved, the charge for a consumer would increase nearly 28%, from $52.10 to $66.62 per month, according to a news release from the state consumer affairs department.

Palmetto Utilities Inc. said the increase in rates will pay for increasing costs to operate the system and investment in capital improvements, according to the release.

According to the petition (.pdf) filed by Consumer Advocate Carri Grube Lybarker with the PSC, Palmetto Utilities Inc. also seeks to modify terms and conditions of its rate schedule. The waste water treatment company is requesting permission to charge customers who tamper with company facilities and equipment.

The state consumer advocate works in the interest of consumers before the PSC and can intervene in utility ratemaking.