Local News

Duke seeks 12.6% increase in electric rates

Posted June 2, 2009 12:45 p.m. EDT

— Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) has filed a request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to raise its electric rates in the state by 12.6 percent.

"Customers count on us to provide power that is affordable, reliable and clean. This rate increase helps ensure that we deliver on that commitment today and in the future," Brett Carter, president of Duke Energy Carolinas, said in a statement. "We recognize that this is a challenging time to ask customers to pay more for electricity, so we didn't make this decision lightly."

If regulators approve the increase, the average residential bill – for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity – would increase by about $11 a month.

Although the company adjusts fuel costs on an annual basis, Duke's last general rate increase in North Carolina was in 1991, the company said. Duke's electric rates in North Carolina are 31 percent below the national average and 24 percent blow other utilities in the Southeast, the company said.

The rate increase, which would take effect next year if approved, would boost annual revenue from Duke's North Carolina retail operations by about $496 million, the company said.