The 1.9 million customers served by Duke Carolinas will see an increase in their bills, as the company was granted a 4.5 percent rate increase by the National Utilities Commission. This is the third rate increase since 2009. The company will use the rate increase to pay for new coal-fired unit and a natural gas-fueled plant.
Duke Carolinas made a request for an increase of $446 million but the National Utilities Commission only granted the company $205 million. In addition, the company received an approval for a 10.2 percent return on equity despite their request for a 11.2 percent return.
In light of the approval for a rate increase for the electricity provider, an appeal is likely to be made on behalf of consumers for a change in rates by Attorney General of North Carolina, Roy Cooper. The Attorney General appealed Duke Carolinas’ last rate hike and was victorious.
Duke Carolinas is prohibited from requesting another increase in rates for another two years. Agencies that assist customers struggling to pay their energy bills will also receive a $10 million donation from the company.