CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Average N.C. residential bills would go up $1.67 a month, starting in January, under a settlement agreement reached last week between Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas and the consumer arm of the N.C. Utilities Commission.
In the agreement, which the commission itself still has to approve, Piedmont accepts an overall 3.6 percent rate hike. It had sought a 9.3 percent hike.
Piedmont’s calculation that average residential bills would go up $20 a year includes a fuel-cost adjustment that it will seek later this year. That adjustment, which will reflect the lower wholesale price of natural gas, will partly offset the rate increase.