Higher rates now in effect for Duke Energy customers

GF Default - New Hanover County property selected by Duke Energy for economic development program
GF Default - New Hanover County property selected by Duke Energy for economic development program
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 11:10 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Higher rates are going into effect for Duke Energy customers.

News outlets report that rates are increasing an average of 4.7% across all of the Charlotte-based utility’s customer groups on Tuesday.

A typical residential customer’s average monthly power bill will rise to just under $120. That’s an increase of about $6. Duke Energy says it understands how this may impact some people’s budgets and offers budgeting assistance. It also has a list of energy-saving tips for those hoping to cut down on their usage.

The increase varies depending on the rate they pay from an average increase of 3.6% for industrial customers to 4.7% for commercial customers 5.3% for residential customers.

“We have programs in place that helps with billing assistance,” said spokesperson Meredith Archie. “We’ve also agreed to contribute an additional $5 million to the energy neighbor fund which helps with billing assistance for our Duke Energy Progress customers.”

The N.C. Utilities Commission approved the rates new rates earlier this year.

Archie says the higher rate will help the company pay for its efforts to move toward using cleaner energy. The company has worked to transition away from using coal to produce energy.

“It also includes upgrades to our nuclear fleet, which is carbon-free. There’s one down there in Brunswick County,” said Archie. “It also includes significant investments in our grid to make it more resilient and strengthen it against storms, cyber-attacks and other potential threats. We’ve been making a lot of upgrades to make our whole energy system more clean and more resilient.”

Duke Energy initially requested a significantly larger rate increase to help pay for cleaning up coal ash at plants, but agreed to a settlement that will save customers more than $1.1 billion.

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