Piedmont Natural Gas reaches agreement on new rates with customer groups in North Carolina

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  • Residential customers should pay less for natural gas this winter than last winter

  • Piedmont has made significant investments in growth, safety and reliability of its system

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  Piedmont Natural Gas reached an agreement today with North Carolina consumer and industrial groups that could lower winter costs for residential customers while covering significant investments made to accommodate growth, safety and reliability.

All parties agreed to a 3% increase in rates, which is approximately one-third of the 9% increase Piedmont originally requested to recover costs for system growth, infrastructure investments and pipeline safety and security improvements.  

Under the terms of the settlement, resulting from the rate review request filed in April, the monthly bill for Piedmont's typical residential customer in North Carolina would increase an average of $1.80 per month. The impact of this rate increase is mitigated by the company returning savings from federal and state tax reform to customers.

The impact may be further reduced by an expected decrease in the cost of natural gas in the fall.

"Once these factors are in place, and with the commission's approval, we believe our customers in North Carolina now will pay less for natural gas this winter than they did in the winter of 2018," said Frank Yoho, executive vice president and president, Piedmont Natural Gas. "We appreciate the constructive work from all parties and the consideration they've given to our customers and to the investments Piedmont has made to keep our pipeline system safe and reliable."

The agreement was developed in collaboration with the Carolina Utility Customers Association, the Carolina Industrial Group for Fair Utility Rates and the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC), which represents the interests of the consumer.

The settlement reduces the company's requested return on equity from 10.6% to 9.7%.

Piedmont's proposed rate increase applies to residential, commercial and industrial customers. If approved by the NCUC, Piedmont anticipates the new rates will go into effect by the end of 2019. To learn more about Piedmont's proposed rate increase, visit piedmontng.com/rates.

Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company also supplies natural gas to power plants. Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S. 

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2019 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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