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Duke Energy Proposes Rate Hike

Duke Energy wants to raise electric rates for its residential customers in North Carolina next year by an average seventeen percent. The company on Friday filed a rate hike request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Duke Energy spokesman Jason Walls says the request is designed to help the company recoup $4.8 billion the company has invested since 2009 in new power plants, new transmission and distribution infrastructure, and other costs for its electrical system. The Charlotte-based utility says the rate hike request is also driven by lower electricity sales, due to several factors including the recession. If regulators approve the full increase, Duke says the monthly bill for an average residential user would go up by $19.