Duke Energy Ohio reaches agreement in electric and natural gas distribution rate cases

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CINCINNATI, OHIO - Duke Energy Ohio has reached an agreement with all intervening parties, including the Staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), concerning the company’'s request to increase the rates Ohio customers pay for electric and natural gas distribution service.

Under the terms of the settlement, the net annualized increase for electric distribution service would be a $49 million revenue adjustment with no revenue adjustment for natural gas distribution service. For electric customers, this translates to an average annual increase of 2.9 percent. The typical Ohio residential electric customer would see an increase in their bill of $3.72 a month. 

Major components of the settlement:

The settlement includes the following key components:

  • A return on equity (ROE) of 9.84 percent for both the electric and natural gas distribution cases
  • A capital structure of 53.3 percent equity and 46.7 percent debt, consistent with the company’s existing capital structure
  • Provide ongoing funding of low income weatherization programs and a fuel fund, in the amount of $700,000 per year, funded by shareholders
  • Acceptance of the commission staff’s recommendation to deny the facilities relocation rider

The settlement does not resolve all issues related to the natural gas distribution case. The parties to the agreement will litigate the recovery of costs to comply with environmental requirements impacting the company's former manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites. 

The settlement is subject to the review and approval of the PUCO. Settlement hearings are scheduled to begin April 3, 2013, while hearings on the recovery of MGP remediation costs are expected to begin April 29, 2013.

If approved, revised electric distribution rates are expected to be implemented by mid-year. “

"The proposed settlement balances the needs of our customers and our investors. We understand there is never a good time to increase rates,”" said Jim Henning, president, Duke Energy Ohio. "“However, we believe this settlement allows us to keep the rate increase to Ohio customers as low as we reasonably can, while still recovering the investments we’'ve made to modernize our system to ensure safe and reliable services for the future.”"

Duke Energy Ohio

Duke Energy Ohio'’s operations provide electric service to approximately 690,000 customers and natural gas service to approximately 400,000 customers.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $110 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

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.