Duke Energy customers could pay $18 more a month per 1,000 kWh

Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Duke Energy’s requested rate increase of 15.1 percent for South Carolina customers would amount to an average of $18 more a month, according to the company, in a filing with the S.C. Public Service Commission (PSCSC) on Monday.

Duke Energy residential customers can expect to pay, on average, an additional $17.83 a month more per 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity based on the current monthly $100.45.

The PSC would have to approve the increase that would up electricity bills by 16.3 percent, 14 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively, for residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Duke said the increase would raise $220 million in additional revenue that is needed to offset investments in infrastructure and new energy production.

By comparison, Commissioners of Greer Commission of Public Works approved a 2012 rate increase in December of 4 percent for electricity.

CPW reported its customers’ bills would increase an average of $4.67 per 1,000-kilowatt hours of usage. Based on the approved rates and usage noted, CPW customers could expect to pay on average $99.88 for electricity per month. 

If approved, this would be Duke’s third rate increase since 2010. Rates for South Carolina customers increased in February 2012 by an average of about 6 percent. That increase dropped per a settlement with the PSC from Duke’s original request for a rate increase of 15 percent.

More than half of the request is driven by capital investments that Duke Energy Carolinas has made in the electric system that serves 540,000 households and businesses in South Carolina. The company said the proposed rate increase is needed to begin paying the company back for money it has already invested in new, cleaner and more efficient power plants and equipment, and to comply with increasing state and federal regulations.

In February, Reuters reported that Duke Energy posted an increase in quarterly net income in its second quarterly report since its merger with Progress Energy. For the fourth quarter, the company posted net income of $586 million compared with $333 million a year earlier, according to Reuters.

Duke Energy Carolinas’ service area covers 24,000 square miles in North Carolina and South Carolina and supplies electric service to 2.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers.







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