Duke Looking To Increase Rates By An Average Of 15 Percent - WSPA.com

Duke Energy Looking To Increase Rates By An Average Of 15 Percent

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Duke Energy is looking to raise rates an average 15 percent for South Carolina customers. Duke Energy is looking to raise rates an average 15 percent for South Carolina customers.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

Duke Energy is looking to raise rates an average 15 percent for South Carolina customers.

The utility filed that request Monday with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.

Duke says it needs the money to pay for upgrades to power plants.

The increase will generate about $220 million from South Carolina customer.

Duke says the average customer paying about $100 each month would pay an extra $18 on their bill.

Duke is also asking for a 9.7 percent increase to rates for North Carolina customers.

That would mean an extra $14 a month for the average customers in North Carolina.

Duke Energy last increased its rates for customers in the Carolinas in February of 2012. At the time Duke asked for a 17% rate hike but was only granted a 6% increase.

Duke Energy Customer Lisa Harris says she already struggles to buy groceries, fill up with gas, and pay bills. Harris worries how she'll be able to afford another rate increase.

"Gas is high everything is already high, it's just trying to make it from day to day," Harris said.

Duke Energy Spokesperson Ryan Mosier says its never a good time for a rate increase but its needed. Mosier tells 7 On Your Side the rate increase will help pay back money invested in building two new power plants in North Carolina, as well as major safety upgrades to the plant in Oconee County.

"It takes money to improve our infrastructure, to continue to improve the way that we deliver power to our customers," Mosier said.

You will get to speak your mind about the rate hike request before any decision is made.

Over the next couple of months, Duke Energy tells us the Public Service Commission in South Carolina will schedule hearings for people to speak for or against the increase.

That's expected to happen sometime this summer.  We'll let you know when those hearings are set.

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