Duke Energy Progress implemented new rates for North Carolina customers on Oct. 1 as approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).
After extensive evaluation since the rate review was requested last October, along with constructive settlements with the NCUC Public Staff and other parties, the NCUC approved a net increase in retail revenues in year one of about $234 million (5.8%), followed by $126 million (3.2%) in year two and $138 million (3.4%) in year three.
Customer bills already reflect an interim rate adjustment implemented June 1. Accounting for that, beginning Oct. 1, 2023, the change from current rates for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month will be an increase of $8.04, from $144.12 to $152.16 per month, followed by a $4.67 increase on Oct. 1, 2024, and a $5.15 increase on Oct. 1, 2025, for a total of $161.98 by late 2025.
According to the Edison Electric Institute, the national monthly average for typical residential customers was $171.67 as of Jan. 1, 2023, before other utilities go through their own rate adjustments.
The full NCUC rate review order can be found here. Duke Energy Progress serves about 1.5 million customers in central and eastern North Carolina and in the Asheville region.
Help for low-income customers
The NCUC ordered Duke Energy Progress to establish a Customer Assistance Program (CAP) that will reduce bills for the utility’s most vulnerable customers through a $42 monthly credit for 12 months. Customers helped by the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) or the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) – federally funded initiatives for those at or below 130% and 150% of the poverty level, respectively – will be automatically enrolled in CAP once the program launches in January in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Duke Energy will also refer CAP customers to weatherization and energy efficiency services that can help provide long-term solutions to reduce energy usage. As part of a settlement in the rate cases for both Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas (still subject to NCUC approval), Duke Energy shareholders will contribute $10 million for health and safety repairs that would otherwise prevent low-income customers from qualifying for weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements. Duke Energy shareholders are contributing an additional $6 million to the Share the Light Fund in support of North Carolina customers.