Duke Energy Carolina has asked for a rate increase that would require its residential customers to pay more. Duke Energy asked South Carolina’s utilities commission for a 15.1 percent overall rate increase on Monday, which includes a 16.3 percent hike for residential customers.
A release from Duke says that more than half of the company’s request for $220 million a year in new revenue would be to repay its capital investments. These investments include two new power plants meant to replace aging coal plants in North Carolina. It also includes upgrades to two nuclear plants, including the Oconee Nuclear Station in Seneca. In that case, Duke says the money is needed for new safety and security measures.
Duke is seeking approval of its rate hike from the South Carolina Public Safety Commission. The company says the need is magnified because its costs have been spread among lower sales volumes experienced since the last time the PSC approved a rate change.
Officials say that, if the request is approved, typical residential bills would increase by 16.3 percent. That would increase from about $100 a month to more than $118 for the typical residential bill.
Duke serves 540,000 households and businesses in South Carolina.