© 2023 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Duke Requests 1st Annual Rate Hike Since 2011

Gypsum (foreground) and coal stored at Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman.
David Boraks
Gypsum (foreground) and coal stored at Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman.

For the first time since 2011, Duke Energy customers in North Carolina will see higher bills if state regulators approve a rate increase request filed this week.  

The utility says rates for residential customers will rise slightly - about $2 a month for a typical household using 1,000 kilowatt hours. That's a reversal from the past few years, when lower fuel prices brought rate decreases.

Duke says the increase will cover a loss on the sale of gypsum and coal ash, which are left after burning coal. That means the money Duke made selling the coal byproducts was less than its cost to manage the materials.

The rate increase also will help pay for renewable energy and efficiency programs.

If approved, the new rates will go into effect in two steps, the fuel and renewable energy adjustments on Sept. 1 and the adjustments for energy efficiency programs on Jan. 1.

Rate adjustments for fuel and renewable energy costs are filed annually. Duke also plans to seek a separate increase this summer to cover costs of coal ash cleanups at its North Carolina plants.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.