Duke Energy files rate increase request

Feb. 05, 2013 @ 08:17 PM

Duke Energy Carolinas filed a request for an electric rate increase for its North Carolina customers on Monday that, if approved as filed, would mean an 11.8 percent average increase for residential customers.
The request by the subsidiary of the Charlotte-based energy company to the N.C. Utilities Commission was to increase rates, including for industrial, commercial, lighting, as well as residential customers, by 9.7 percent to raise $446 million.
The utility said in a news release that more than 90 percent of the request is driven by electric system capital investments.
“As part of our ongoing fleet-modernization plan, we have recently built and put into service two new state-of-the art power plants that will provide cleaner air and serve our customers reliably for decades to come,” Paul Newton, Duke Energy state president  for North Carolina said in a statement in the release.
The proposal calls for an average rate increase for residential customers of 11.8 percent. Commercial customers would see an average increase of 9.6 percent, and industrial customers would see an average increase of 5.3 percent.
Residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month today have a bill of $102.72, according to the release. If the rate increase is approved as filed, that bill would increase by $14.27. This would be the third of three expected rate increases since 2009, said utility spokesman David Scanzoni.
Last year, the utility made an initial request for an increase that was larger than the 7.2 percent increase that was approved. That last increase was expected to increase the typical North Carolina residential customer’s bill by $7.
That increase has been appealed by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who argued in November before the state’s Supreme Court regarding the matter.  Scanzoni said that appeal is still pending.
Duke Energy’s Progress Energy Carolinas subsidiary also filed an electric rate increase request for North Carolina customers in October.