Duke Energy rates rising 4.8% on June 1 for Asheville, eastern NC
Duke Energy will raise rates by 4.8% beginning June 1 for residential customers in Asheville, Raleigh and eastern North Carolina.
That includes a temporary 2.8% hike while regulators consider a permanent three-year increase and another 2% increase because of the expiration of a federal tax refund that had been offsetting rates. Rates for other customer groups also will rise, though by smaller percentages. Duke is raising the rate for sports field lighting by 22%.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the increases last week as it wrapped up expert witness hearings on Duke's request to raise rates by 18.7% over three years under newly permitted multiyear rate plans. Regulators are expected to decide on that request this summer, with new permanent rates to take effect Oct. 1.
Duke says it needs to rate increases to strengthen the electric grid, improve reliability and prepare for more renewable energy.
If regulators approve a more minor increase than the temporary rates, Duke would have to refund the difference to customers.
Meanwhile, the commission will hold hearings beginning next month on Duke's request to raise residential rates by nearly 18% in its central and western North Carolina territory, known as Duke Energy Carolinas.