Duke Energy Carolinas files adjustment to fuel and energy efficiency charges for customers

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy Carolinas filed requests on Wednesday to adjust the fuel and energy efficiency components of customer bills. While the fuel charge remained unchanged, the filing reflects increased investments made for programs and incentives to help customers manage their energy use.

Key Points

  • No change in current fuel costs
  • Residential increase of $2.86 per 1000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) effective Jan. 1, 2014, for energy efficiency and demand side management programs
  • These changes are separate from the proposed base rate increase now under consideration by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) (proposed increase of $14.27 per 1000 kWh effective fall 2013)

If approved by the NCUC, the filings would increase the bill for residential customers by .2857 cents per kWh and .0387 cents per kWh for nonresidential customers. For a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month, bills would increase from the current $102.72 to $105.58.

These amounts apply only to Duke Energy Carolinas customers in North Carolina and do not reflect any adjustments to customer bills that may result from the proposed increase to base rates currently under review by the NCUC.

Progress Energy Carolinas will make its annual fuel and energy efficiency filings in June.

There were a number of offsetting factors that resulted in the fuel factor remaining unchanged. These include reduced costs due to greater availability of gas generation and the benefits of jointly dispatching the combined generation portfolio of Duke Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Carolinas, offset by higher commodity prices and an increase in projected sales.

The proposed fuel factors also incorporate the return of $47 million of over-collected fuel costs for the calendar year 2012, compared to $19 million of under-collected fuel costs that are included in existing fuel rates.

The proposed increase to energy efficiency rates includes amounts related to Duke Energy Carolinas'’ Save-a-Watt pilot program, which ends in December 2013. The rates also include amounts for the company'’s proposed energy efficiency programs and cost recovery mechanism that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

"“We are continually working to refine our energy efficiency offerings for customers,"” said Paul Newton, Duke Energy president – North Carolina. “"The new programs we are rolling out beginning in 2014 will expand these offerings and provide more options for our customers to take control of their energy use and their bills.”"

The fuel portion of the company's rates is adjusted annually by the NCUC to reflect the actual cost of fuel the utility uses to produce electricity to meet customer demand.

By law, the fuel charge is a direct pass through and Duke Energy Carolinas does not make a profit from this charge. New fuel charges take effect on Sept. 1 each year.

The company also files annually to recover the costs of implementing programs designed to help reduce energy consumption and save customers money on their energy bills. These filings, and their subsequent proceedings, are separate from the base rate increase proposal currently filed with the NCUC.

Duke Energy Carolinas will make a separate filing next week regarding the portion of customer rates that pays for renewable energy investments required to comply with state law. The filing is not expected to result in a significant change to customers'’ bills.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 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 on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.