Duke is asking for a $623.5 million rate increase which will be an average of $306.06 a year for a residential electric bill.
Duke is proposing to increase the average monthly bill by 20% over three years. The stairstep structure is part of the utility’s multi-year rate plan, a controversial provision included in House Bill 951. That legislation, passed and signed into law in 2021, allows Duke to charge customers upfront for future costs, instead of recouping those expenses afterward. At the time, critics of the bill warned that low-income customers, especially renters, would be hurt by the multi-year rate plan because it allows Duke Energy to essentially lock in several consecutive rate increases without going before the Utilities Commission.
You can find more information, talking points and a link to the Utilities Commission public comment form here.
Make your voice heard!
Although no rate hike hearings have been scheduled in Asheville yet, you can send your written Comments Opposing Duke Energy’s Proposed Rate Hike to the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Be sure to reference docket number E-2 Sub 1300.
Suggested talking points for written comments:
1. Introduce yourself as a North Carolinian & Duke Energy Progress rate payer. Be personal & ask the Utilities Commission to benefit all North Carolinians not just Duke stockholders. Many residents can’t afford a monthly increase of close to 20% a month.
2. Coal plants are too expensive, yet Duke maintains them, and likewise invests in gas plants which resulted in outages in December 2022. It’s time to reject outdated, unreliable and expensive dirty fossil fuels.
3. New Performance-Based Ratemaking has the potential to incentivize Duke to invest in good energy transition. Ask the Utilities Commission to require that Duke’s profits are tied to achieving public policy goals: decarbonization, low-income energy affordability, reduced outages, energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy resources.
4. Ask the Utilities Commission to direct Duke to utilize all federal funding opportunities (such as from the Inflation Reduction Act before asking for rate increases).