A rate hike of about 3 percent was approved Wednesday for retail customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas, the state Public Service Commission said.

The higher rate will bring in an additional $67.2 million to help pay for finance costs associated with construction of V.C. Summer nuclear units 2 and 3 near Jenkinsville.

The utility filed for the increase under the state Base Load Review Act.

The revenue increase is to cover the cost of capital on $569 million of construction work in progress, the PSC said.

As of June 30, SCE&G has spent $2.1 billion constructing the nuclear units.

SCE&G and Santee Cooper are working to build two 1,117-megawatt nuclear electric generating units at the Summer Nuclear Station. The Base Load Review Act allows for annual adjustments to rates during construction of the units as a means of recovering financing costs.

SCE&G said the PSC approved an increase of about 2.8 percent to the retail electric rates.

SCE&G spokesman Eric Boomhower said the rate increase in the long run will reduce the cost of building the nuclear units by about $1 billion.

“You’re actually saving your customers $4 billion over the life of those units,” he said.