CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Editor's note: A previous version of this article had a misspelling that altered the context of the story.
Duke Energy Carolinas proposed an electricity rate increase for North Carolina homes and businesses in an attempt to recover the costs of generating electricity, the company announced Wednesday.
Duke Energy Carolinas asked to the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to raise rates by 16.2% to 16.6% by Sept. 1, followed by another 0.4% on Jan. 1, 2024. Duke said the rate increases are necessary due to rising costs for the fuel used to generate electricity. Electric utility providers are not allowed to profit from fuel costs and are allowed to adjust rates based on rising or falling costs once per year.
How much Duke Energy bills would go up
In a news release detailing the proposed increase, Duke said the monthly impact of a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would be an increase of $19.10, from $115.01 to $134.11. This increase would keep Duke's rates below the national average of $161.81 as of summer 2022.
This isn't the only rate increase Duke Energy has requested. In January, the energy provider asked for a nearly 18% increase over three years that would go toward improving grid reliability and security. The company would also collect more renewable energy using revenue from the rate increase. If approved, that rate increase would raise the typical residential bill by about $12.50.
“Fuel costs to generate electricity have more than tripled over the last year, which is a challenge faced by energy providers across the country,” Kendal Bowman, Duke Energy's North Carolina president, said. “Our rates in North Carolina are far below the national average, and we’re doing everything we can to keep customer bills as low as possible.”
The news of possible Duke increases comes one day after Piedmont Natural Gas said it plans to lower customer bills by nearly $30 per year in the Carolinas. The decrease will be reflected beginning with Piedmont Natural Gas customers' March bills.
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The price of natural gas has dropped since last fall, allowing Piedmont Natural Gas to charge less. The typical North Carolina customer will save roughly $28 per year, while South Carolina customers save around $29.
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