Duke Energy’s residential power customers in the Charlotte area will see their power bills go up — slightly — starting Wednesday.
Customers will see a 0.3 percent hike in their average bill in the first year. That means a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month would see their bill increase from $103.85 to $104.56, according to Duke.
In four years, bills will go up more — a 1.2 percent increase. The delay in a bigger rate hike is because the N.C. Utilities Commission had required Duke to refund customers $60 million annually for four years in money it collects from them in advance to pay eventual state income taxes.
Residential customers bills are going up while industrial and businesses bills will see decreases.
Residential customer usage often peaks during the hottest parts of the day in the summer and the coldest parts of the day in the winter, according to Duke. Large industrial customers typically have more consistent and predictable energy usage.
In June, the utilities commission rejected Duke Energy’s request to raise all customers’ rates. Instead, the commission required Duke to have an overall decrease among customer types. That led to the decision to raise residential rates slightly and reduce bills for industrial and business customers.
Duke has said higher bills are needed to recoup costs it had incurred to generate cleaner electricity and modernize the state’s electric grid.