COLUMBIA - South Carolina Electric and Gas may end up refunding about $1.4 million to about 7,000 customers in a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the state.
State Attorney General Henry McMaster filed the unfair trade practices lawsuit in October 2003 on behalf of the state and customers who were charged monthly municipal franchise fees on their electric and gas bills by SCE&G, even though they live outside a municipality and did not owe the fee.
SCE&G charges customers franchise fees, which in turn are paid to municipalities for the use of rights of way for the placement of poles, lines and equipment.
Under the settlement, the utility will refund customers franchise fees that had been improperly charged since April 1999. SCE&G also will add interest at the legal rate to all customer refunds.
The agreement also requires the utility to improve methods of identifying whether customers are inside or outside municipalities.