Duke strikes deal to increase S. Carolina rates

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2009 5:53 PM

Power company Duke Energy says it has reached a settlement in South Carolina that will result in a rate increase of 5.2 percent, the first jump in its general rates since 1991.

If approved by state regulators, Duke said Tuesday that the increase will go into effect Feb. 1.

The increase will be offset by customer refunds, including the return of money collected from an old energy efficiency program. With the refunds, rates will end up rising an average of 1.7 percent.

The company initially had sought a 9.3 percent increase.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke has said the rate hike is necessary to recover costs for pollution control equipment, new generation and transmission and distribution systems.

Duke has 600,000 customers in South Carolina.