Duke Energy requesting nearly 18% raise in rates over three-year span

If state regulators approve, it would impact two million customers in the state, including Charlotte.
The change Duke Energy is proposing would start next year with a $12.54 raise in rates.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:59 AM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - Duke Energy Carolinas wants to raise its electricity rates for the first time in three years.

It’s asking North Carolina regulators to approve a nearly 18% increase to customers’ bills that would be stretched over three years beginning in January 2024.

If state regulators approve, it would impact two million customers in the state, including Charlotte.

The change Duke Energy is proposing would start next year with a $12.54 raise in rates. Smaller increases would then happen in 2025 and 2026.

Duke Energy said this would bring the average customer’s bill of $115 a month to a little more than $127 per month beginning next year. It would be followed by a $3.90 increase in January 2025 and a $3.18 increase in January 2026, officials said.

The company also announced a new customer assistance program for those struggling to pay their bills.

What’s the reason behind the proposed hike? As WBTV has been reporting, Duke Energy has run into a slew of infrastructure issues since December.

It started out with the attack on its substation in Moore County, plunging 45,000 people into the dark for days.

Then, rolling blackouts caused by frigid temperatures on Christmas Eve cut off power to thousands across the Carolinas.

Duke Energy says these rate increases would raise more than $4 billion to put toward system improvements and security enhancements.

This is currently just a request to state regulators, and it has yet to be approved. The decision would ultimately be made by North Carolina’s utilities commission.

The group would have to hold a hearing and get feedback from customers and advocacy groups before a decision is made.