SCANA headquarters (copy) (copy)

SCANA Corp.'s corporate headquarters is in Cayce, near Columbia. File/Andrew Brown/Staff

The federal reforms that slashed corporate tax bills late this year are helping to lower utility bills for some South Carolina Electric & Gas customers.

The SCANA Corp. subsidiary said it's seeking approval from state regulators to trim the base rates it charges for natural gas by $22.6 million, or an average of about 5.3 percent.

Residential customers would see their monthly bills decline by about 7 percent, $4.09 based on yearly average usage.

“The decrease is driven by the lower corporate tax rate under tax reform and the company's operating results,” SCE&G said in written statement.

The lower rates would show up during the first billing cycle of November if the S.C. Public Service Commission approves them.

SCE&G has about 362,000 gas customers in South Carolina.

The request was filed with regulators on Friday, more than six months after the federal corporate tax rate was cut to about 21 percent from 35 percent, triggering a windfall for many businesses in 2018.

SCE&G also serves about 723,000 electric customers, but their tax-related rate rollbacks have not been determined. Utility spokeswoman Rhonda O'Banion said state regulators will address the issue as they review SCANA's proposed sale to Dominion Energy of Richmond, Va. 

Cayce-based SCE&G has estimated that its power bills will drop at least 3 percent, or about $4.50 a month, for a typical residential user.

"SCE&G has committed to ensuring that customers will receive the full benefit of the new federal tax law," O'Banion said in a written statement Monday.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott