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MONCKS CORNER -- The rebates from a class-action lawsuit against the Santee Cooper public utility that settled last week could be issued in the coming months, and some of the returns will be based on whether customers bought energy-efficient appliances.

For instance, under the settlement, Santee Cooper customers who do not buy an energy-efficient appliance could be rewarded with six energy- efficient light bulbs. Those who bought efficient appliances can get a $22 rebate check.

The store-labeled appliance must have been purchased between April 14, 2009, and Sept. 16, 2011, to qualify. Appliances include washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, heating and air systems and water heaters.

The utility was sued in 2007 over a rate increase dating to the mid-1990s. Plaintiffs alleged it was approved as a temporary increase to pay for a building program but continued after the project was paid for.

The suit was settled for a value of $7 million. It involves some 200,000 customers.

Don E. Watson of Myrtle Beach, a lead plaintiff in the case, earlier said that he was satisfied with the settlement.

But not all Santee Cooper customers agreed with the way that the agreement worked out.

Customer Mike O'Harra questioned the logic of an arrangement that requires customers to spend hundreds of dollars on a new appliance in order to get $22 back.

To receive a benefit, customers must send in their claim form by Oct. 27, 2010. If they indicate they would like to receive the rebate, once their claim form has been received, additional information will be mailed out.

For more information on the rebate, contact the settlement administrator at 1-800-755-3699, or Santee Cooper customer service at 761-8000, ext. 3093.