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Duke Energy proposes rate changes

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Duke Energy Carolinas has requested a revenue increase of $168 million and an average customer rate increase of 10% in a filing with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.

The energy company said, in a news release, that work to modernize power plants and generate cleaner electricity, responsibly manage coal ash, improve reliability and continually enhance service is at the heart of a request by Duke Energy Carolinas to change customer rates in South Carolina. The request also includes nuclear project development costs.

The average rate increase for residential customers on their total bill would be 12.1%, while commercial and industrial customers would see an average increase of 8.3%, according to the release. Duke Energy Carolinas has requested that new rates go into effect June 1, 2019.

Duke Energy Carolinas serves about 591,000 customers in the Upstate region of South Carolina, including Greenwood, Greenville, Spartanburg, Lancaster and York counties.

“The electric power grid is the backbone of South Carolina’s digital economy — not just today, but for decades to come,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president, in the release. “Customers want safe, reliable and increasingly clean electricity. They also want more options and control over how they use energy in their everyday lives. We’re working hard to build a smart, secure and flexible electric infrastructure to better serve our customers and keep South Carolina competitive now and in the years ahead.”

If the proposal is approved, a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity monthly would pay about $129.43 per month, an increase of about $15.57. Duke Energy Carolinas has requested options to spread recovery of certain costs over multiple years to reduce the immediate impact on customer bills, the release said.

A similar request was made for Duke Energy Progress. Duke Energy Progress serves about 169,000 customers in the northeastern part of South Carolina, including Darlington, Florence and Sumter counties.

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