Duke Energy Carolinas seeks rate hike in SC

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2009 3:33 PM

Utility company Duke Energy Carolinas is seeking to raise utility rates in South Carolina, the company's parent company Duke Energy Corp. said Tuesday.

Duke Energy Carolinas filed a proposed settlement that outlines a general rate increase of $74.1 million, or an average of 5.2 percent, to be implemented by Feb 1, 2010. The company notes that additional steps outlined in the proposal reduce the near-term net increase to $24 million, creating a 1.7 percent bottom-line average impact to customer bills in 2010.

"Since our last general rate increase in 1991, the company has invested more than $12 billion in the energy infrastructure that serves our Carolinas customers. We recover that investment by adjusting the rates we charge," said Jim Turner, Duke Energy's group executive, president and chief operating officer of U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas.

The company filed the proposed settlement with the Office of Regulatory Staff and the South Carolina Energy Users Committee. The proposed settlement must be reviewed by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina in a hearing scheduled to begin on Nov. 30, 2009.

Shares of Duke rose 8 cents to $16.54 in afternoon trading.