SC utility gas rates declining more than 3 percent

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Natural gas rates are going down for customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. for the second month in a row.

The Columbia utility said Tuesday it had adjusted the purchased gas portion of its January natural gas rates. That means residential customers will see their bills down about $5.21, or 3.6 percent, from December.

In October, SCE&G said it had gotten permission to raise electricity rates by an average of 1 percent to help pay for two nuclear reactors. That was the second hike to help pay for SCE&G’s part of the $10 billion expansion at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County.

SCE&G, a subsidiary of Scana Corp., and state-owned Santee Cooper are partners on the reactors. The first unit should be online in 2016.