The Duke Energy division that provides electricity for Charlotte and much of western North Carolina has asked state regulators to approve an average 6% rate increase.
Duke Energy Carolinas wants $291 million a year in new revenues to help pay for a range of expenses, says the company's North Carolina president, Stephen DeMay.
"One is to continue down our path of shifting to cleaner energy. We are improving grid reliability and resiliency and we are providing customers more convenience and more control over their energy usage," DeMay said.
Those include building new gas and solar generating plants, converting existing coal plants to gas, cleaning up toxic coal ash, and investing in new technologies to improve reliability and efficiency.
To help low-income customers, Duke says it's not raising the monthly basic service charge. And it is proposing to eliminate fees for paying by direct debit or credit card.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission must hold hearings and take comments on the request. Duke hopes new rates will take effect next summer.
Meanwhile, Duke says it plans to file a similar request within a month for Duke Energy Progress, which serves eastern North Carolina, including Raleigh, as well as Asheville.