If approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, residential customers would see a 3.4 percent drop in their electric bills, while commerical rates would drop 2.6 percent and industrial rates by 1.8 percent, Duke officials said.
Duke said lower fuel costs are the primary driver for the lower rates, and that is linked to both dropping commodity prices and the utility's planned purchase of North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency's ownership stakes in various power plants.
Meanwhile, Duke asked the Utilities Commission to increase rates so it can comply with the state's renewable energy requirements and to recover the costs of implementing programs designed to help reduce energy consumption and save customers money on their energy bills.
When combined with the fuel savings, these increases would result in a decrease of $2.98 a month for the average residential customer in 2016.
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