Duke Energy Progress serves 1.4 million customers across North Carolina, with more than 170,000 meters here in Western North Carolina. The company is seeking an overall average rate increase across all customer groups of about 12.3%. If the proposal is approved by state regulators, a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity monthly would pay about $137.73 per month, reflecting an increase of $17.29 per month, on average.
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The proposed increase in electric rates reflects investments already made to shift to cleaner energy; improve reliability and support low-income customers. For additional resources and information, be sure to visit www.duke-energy.com/DEPNCrates.
Shifting to cleaner energy
- Duke Energy Progress is retiring the Asheville coal plant and replacing it with a highly efficient natural gas plant that will be in service in late 2019.
- Duke Energy Progress is proposing to shorten the depreciable lives of its two remaining coal-fired power plants as it focuses on cleaner energy sources, including carbon-free nuclear and renewables and highly efficient natural gas.
- The company is responsibly managing coal ash and safely closing ash basins at operating and retired coal plant sites in the Carolinas. Federal and state regulatory compliance costs incurred after August 2017 to safely close ash basins at eight sites in the Carolinas are included in the proposal.
Improving reliability and grid resiliency
- Duke Energy Progress is working to improve the grid, making it stronger and more resistant to power outages from severe weather and flooding, and better protected against physical and cyber threats.
- The rate request includes costs to rebuild the electric system and restore power after major storms in 2018 and 2019. If Senate Bill 559 becomes law, Duke Energy Progress will seek to securitize these costs through the issuance of bonds, providing savings to customers.
- Self-healing technology is helping to speed restoration by automatically detecting power outages and quickly rerouting power to customers. During Hurricane Florence in 2018, this technology helped to avoid more than 80,000 customer outages.
- Duke Energy Progress has deployed nearly 1 million smart meters, providing customers enhanced usage data and usage alerts, improved outage detection and enabling new programs tailored to help customers make smarter energy choices and save money.
Supporting low-income customers
- Today’s rate filing, consistent with an earlier request for the Duke Energy Carolinas utility, includes a number of proposals intended to reduce the impact of rising costs on low- and fixed-income customers, including eliminating individual credit and debit card fees for residential customers when paying bills.
- The filing proposes no increase in the monthly basic service charge, which has been the subject of concerns raised by customer advocates worried that increases in this charge posed disproportionate impacts on low- and fixed-income customers.
- The company also requests that the NCUC convene a broad stakeholder workshop to evaluate additional regulatory programs and protections for low-income customers, ranging from voluntary programs to potential new tariffs and other initiatives.
We know rising costs can be difficult for many customers, but particularly challenging for our customers on low and fixed incomes. We have heard the concerns and are working to minimize the impact of these important investments on our customers least able to accommodate rate increases. We look forward to the next steps in this process
It’s important to us to give customers more options to help them better manage energy and ultimately save money – so we’re connecting with customers through tools like usage updates from their smart meters, free home energy audits and a menu of energy-saving tips, programs and incentives for every budget. To find the right energy-saving program for your household, visit www.duke-energy.com/SaveEnergy.