RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The nation’s largest electric company has agreed to seek a lower rate increase on more than a million North Carolina customers and charge a lower potential profit margin, but still wants nearly $200 million a year to clean up the toxic byproducts of burning coal.

Duke Energy Corp. and consumer advocates working for the North Carolina Utilities Commission said Monday they’ve agreed to a partial settlement as the company seeks a reduced 13 percent rate increase. The company is now willing to accept a nearly 10 percent potential profit margin, down from almost 11 percent.

The two sides say still at issue is whether the Charlotte-based company’s subsidiary in eastern North Carolina will be allowed to charge consumers the full cost of cleaning up its coal ash pits.

The rate increase would affect customers of Duke Energy Progress, the subsidiary that operates in much of eastern North Carolina and around Asheville.


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