Duke Energy Carolinas receives approval for new rates in North Carolina; implements low-income initiatives

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  • New rates cover past investments in cleaner, more reliable energy.

  • Working groups to develop low-income, rate design, grid resiliency initiatives.

  • Duke Energy shareholders to contribute $16 million to support low-income customers.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy Carolinas will implement new rates for North Carolina customers on June 1, as approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).

The new rates include state and federal tax savings for customers and will remain below the national average, even after adjustments are made to reflect past investments in cleaner, more reliable energy.

As part of its order, the NCUC approved settlement agreements reached with more than 10 diverse customer and environmental groups around ash basin closure costs, future grid investments and other major components of the 2019 rate request.

“Our investments over the past several years have helped lead the state to cleaner energy sources, while keeping energy affordable and reliable for customers,” said Stephen De May, North Carolina president, Duke Energy. “We look forward to continued collaboration with stakeholders to implement new initiatives that support customers and advance North Carolina’s energy transition.”

The final rate order can be viewed at the NCUC website, and highlights of the order can be found here.

Rate impact by customer group

Electric rates will increase by an average of 0.7% across all customer groups, effective June 1.

The annualized bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month will increase, less than $2.00 per month, to $106.25 from the current $104.54 over the next two years.

The specific increase for individual customer groups will vary, depending on the rate they pay. The average rate increase will be 0.7% for residential customers, 0.5% for commercial customers and 0.3% for industrial customers.

The new rates are reduced by customer savings resulting from federal and state tax reform. As the tax savings are fully deployed to customers, electric rates will adjust after two years and again after five years.

Duke Energy Carolinas serves 2 million households and businesses in central and western North Carolina.

Support for low-income customers

The NCUC approved several Duke Energy proposals to reduce the impact of rising costs on low- and fixed-income customers. Duke Energy shareholders will contribute $6 million over two years to the Helping Home Fund to provide energy- and cost-saving measures to North Carolina customers, $5 million over two years to the Duke Energy Carolinas Share the Warmth program and $5 million over two years to the Duke Energy Progress Energy Neighbor Fund to provide billing assistance to low-income customers.

Also, the company will convene a broad stakeholder workshop to evaluate and implement new protections for low-income customers, including a potential income-qualified energy efficiency pilot program.

“We know rising costs can be difficult for many customers, but particularly for those on low and fixed incomes,” De May said. “We are working to minimize the impact of these important investments on our customers least able to accommodate rate increases. And going forward, we will be working with diverse stakeholders and customer advocate groups to implement innovative solutions and additional protections for our most vulnerable customers.”

Duke Energy has taken numerous additional steps during the pandemic to support North Carolina customers through suspension of disconnections, flexible payment arrangements and more than $20 million in charitable giving across the state.

Customers can visit duke-energy.com/home/savings for energy-saving tips and programs. The company also has programs to help customers with managing their bills. Learn more at duke-energy.com/home/billing/special-assistance.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to operate or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Meredith Archie