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South Carolina Electric & Gas asks to lower base rates to account for tax cuts

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. asked to cut its gas customers' base rates by $22.6 million, in large part to account for changes to the corporate tax code.

The roughly 5.29% requested rate reduction would incorporate this year's decrease in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, among other changes to the tax code, the company said in a recent news release. The rate decrease also takes into consideration the company's operating results, the release said.

The SCANA Corp. subsidiary said it filed its rate decrease request under the state's Natural Gas Rate Stabilization Act, which directs the South Carolina Public Service Commission to consider income taxes, among other factors, in determining utilities' rates.

Should the rate change be approved, it would go into effect in November. South Carolina Electric & Gas said the average residential gas customer would see a 7.4%, or $4.09, decrease in monthly bills.

State regulators are responsible for making sure the savings from the new corporate tax code are passed to utility customers, and almost every state in the country has initiated tax-related proceedings.