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Duke Energy seeking rate increase

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Duke Energy Carolinas is proposing a rate increase in the wake of what it calls “higher-than-expected fuel costs during a frigid winter.”

Duke made its annual filing last week with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina for the costs associated with the purchase of fuel to generate electricity at its power plants. If approved, the new rates would go into effect Oct. 1. The total monthly impact for a typical residential customer in South Carolina using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would be an increase of $4.75. Commercial customers would see an average increase in the fuel charge of about 6.1%, and industrial customers would receive an average increase of about 8%, according to a news release.

The commission reviews fuel costs and adjusts the fuel component of customer rates accordingly. By law, the company makes no profit from the fuel component of rates.

Natural gas prices rose over the winter due to heavy demand for residential, commercial and industrial usage to meet customer energy needs during prolonged freezing conditions, the release said. The increased prices, coupled with high demand, contributed to an under collection for the cost of fuel over the past year.

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