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Duke Energy raising rates 10 percent in South Carolina

South Carolinians will pay about 10 percent more on their electric bills after the state approved a Duke Energy rate increase.

The Public Service Commission says Duke Energy’s residential customers will see about a 7 percent increase starting later this month with an additional 3 percent increase in 2014.

Duke Energy initially asked for a 15 percent increase, and the Office of Regulatory Staff countered by asking the commission to cut it in half. Officials say the utility needs the additional money to recoup what it has already paid for new power plants and equipment to comply with regulations.

Charlotte-based Duke Energy has 540,000 customers in South Carolina, mostly in the Upstate.

“We believe the settlement reflects a balance between the needs of our company and the needs of our customers,” Duke Energy South Carolina state president Clark Gillespy said in a statement.

The company says its rates in South Carolina are still below the national average.

Under the settlement, Duke will not be able to raise South Carolina rates again until September 2015. Staff Writer Andrew Dunn and the Associated Press contributed.

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