Local News

Compromise may limit latest PSNC rate hike

Posted August 22, 2008 2:15 p.m. EDT

— PSNC Energy agreed to a lower rate increase than it had sought in a compromise with North Carolina's consumer advocate.

The natural-gas provider will seek to raise rates by 0.11 percent to funds facility upgrades. That increase would add an estimated 28 cents to the average residential customer's monthly bill.

In March, PSNC had sought a 3 percent raise, which would add about $3 to the average bill. The Public Staff, the state's consumer advocate, opposed the increase.

The compromise must be approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which will hold a hearing next Tuesday. The increase would go into effect Nov. 1.

The commission approved rate increases for PSNC in May and June. Combined, those increases will raise rates 31 percent – or an additional $40 on the average monthly bill between November and April, which are considered the winter months.

Gastonia-based PSNC serves more than 450,000 natural gas customers in North Carolina. About 40 percent of its customers are in the Triangle.