GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) last week approved a settlement among Duke Energy Carolinas, the Office of Regulatory Staff and the S.C. Energy Users Committee (SCEUC) that will result in an increase in the fuel charge for Duke Energy Carolinas retail customers in South Carolina.
By law, Duke Energy Carolinas makes no profit from the fuel component of rates. The new fuel rates went into effect Oct. 1.
The approved changes to the fuel charge will result in an increase of $3.21, or 3.1 percent, for a typical 1,000-kilowatt-hour (kWh) residential monthly bill. General service customers will see an average increase in the fuel charge of 4 percent, lighting customers 2 percent, and industrial customers 6.2 percent.
The key driver of the fuel rate increase is under-collected fuel costs, partially offset by a deferral of recovery of a portion of the utilitys projected fuel costs, as approved in the settlement.
Duke Energy Carolinas makes a fuel cost-recovery filing annually in South Carolina. The fuel rate is based on the projected cost of fuel used to provide electric service to the company's customers, plus a true-up of the prior year's projection. The PSCSC reviews fuel costs and adjusts the fuel component of customer rates accordingly.
On Aug. 22, the Office of Regulatory Staff, Duke Energy Carolinas and the SCEUC submitted a settlement agreement. Out of concern for customers, Duke Energy Carolinas agreed to defer recovery of $18 million of the company's projected fuel costs to reduce the fuel rate and the impact on customers during the one-year period beginning Oct. 1, 2014. At the end of that year, Duke Energy Carolinas will be allowed to recover the actual fuel costs incurred during the period.
Duke Energy Carolinas works to actively manage its fuel contracts and to take advantage of savings achieved from the joint dispatch of Duke Energy's generation fleet in the Carolinas to keep fuel costs as low as possible for customers.
Duke Energy Carolinas
Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas, renewables and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 20,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to about 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.