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Duke Energy seeks 16% rate increase for central and western NC

Duke Energy is asking state regulators for a nearly 16 percent rate increase over three years for central and western North Carolina.

Duke Energy says the rate hikes would raise an additional $823 million to upgrade the electric grid, improve reliability during storms and prepare for more renewable energy and electric vehicles.

It affects customers from Durham to Greensboro to Charlotte and the western part of the state.

If approved, rates would rise 9.5 percent next January 1st, 3.3 percent in 2025 and 2.9 percent in 2026. A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month would wind up paying nearly $20 a month more in the third year.

Duke says that would still be below the current national average electric bill.

The request includes some, but not all the increases proposed in Duke's long-range plan for reducing power plant emissions. The company has said the so-called carbon plan could raise bills as much as 35 percent over 10 years.

Duke also has requested a 16 percent rate hike for eastern North Carolina and the Asheville area.