6% rate increase to help Duke reduce reliance on coal


US utility Duke Energy has asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission to review its proposal to increase energy tariffs in a bid to raise the required investments to build a cleaner and more reliable grid network.

If approved, the filed plan will allow Duke Energy to increase annual revenues by about $291 million.

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Residential consumers using 1,000KWh per month would pay $116.26 per month, an increase of $8.06.

However, the utility claims its rates will remain below the Southeast Atlantic region and national averages.

Here are some of the benefits which the rate increase will result in:

  • Shorten the remaining depreciable lives of several coal-fired power
  • The development of a smart-thinking grid that will support the growth of solar power, battery storage, microgrids and electric vehicles – enabling cleaner energy options across the state.
  • Grid improvements that will make the energy system stronger and more resistant to power outages from severe weather and flooding, and better protected against physical and cyber threats.
  • Self-healing technology that will help to speed restoration by automatically detecting power outages and quickly rerouting power to customers
  • The provision of new consumer tailored programmes to be developed from data acquired from smart meters. Duke has deployed more than 2 million smart meters.

Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, said: “We have significantly reduced our carbon footprint and have proposed additional steps to further transition to cleaner energy sources. We are also modernising the electric grid to improve reliability, help avoid power outages and speed restoration when outages do occur.”

Duke Energy Carolinas serves 2 million households and businesses in central and western North Carolina.