Atlanta, Sept. 5, 2003 - This month marks the first anniversary of the regulated provider program that the Georgia General Assembly enacted last year to ensure low-income Georgians have access to natural gas to heat their homes. SCANA Energy, which was appointed regulated provider by the Georgia Public Service Commission, announced that the program has exceeded its goals, and more than 30,000 Georgians now take advantage of this vital program.
"The General Assembly was wise to put in place a program aimed at protecting the state's neediest citizens," said Brett Newsom, SCANA Energy's director of pricing and regulatory affairs.
Under the Natural Gas Consumers' Relief Act, the regulated provider offers natural gas at special rates to those who meet low-income requirements set by the Georgia Department of Human Resources. An additional discount is available for low-income senior citizens. For September, the per therm rate for low-income citizens is $0.2978, and the rate for low-income seniors is $0.2778. The average deregulated marketplace prices for September, by comparison, are more than twice as high.
To encourage more needy Georgians to take advantage of these special rates, SCANA Energy Regulated Division is waiving the $100 deposit for low-income customers until Oct. 1, 2003. For other customers, a deposit of $150 remains in effect.
"As cooler weather approaches, we want to keep helping as many citizens as possible stay warm by inviting all who qualify to enroll in this unique program," said Newsom. "We particularly encourage low-income citizens to take advantage of the deposit fee waiver that is still being offered throughout this month."
SCANA Energy Regulated Division is serving a two-year term as the state's first regulated provider. Under the program, SCANA Energy Regulated Division also serves as a "last resort" for consumers who have been denied service by other gas marketers. For further information, call SCANA Energy Regulated Division toll-free at (866) 245-7742 or visit www.goscana.com. SCANA Energy, the second-largest marketer of natural gas in Georgia, continues to serve its more than 350,000 deregulated customers.