Anderson County Residents Voice Concern Over Proposed Duke Energ - WSPA.com

Anderson County Residents Voice Concern Over Proposed Duke Energy Rate Increase

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An Upstate utility provider held a community open house in Anderson Tuesday to help answer questions customers had, particularly regarding a proposed rate increase.

Duke Energy invited Anderson County residents to meet with representatives at the Civic Center of Anderson. The meeting was staffed by Duke Energy representatives who answered various questions from customers.

Most of the questions concerned billing, tree trimming, energy efficiency, and a 15% rate hike that was proposed last month for customers in South Carolina. Duke says it needs the money to pay for upgrades to power plants.

7 On Your Side took the questions you asked on our Facebook page to Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier about the proposed rate increase.

"This is a fair request, he said. "This is based on billions we've invested in our plants," Mosier said.

The increase will generate about $220 million from South Carolina customers.  Duke says the average customer paying about $100 each month would pay an extra $18 on their bill.

7 On Your Side also asked Mosier why Duke invested money into a rebrand effort including a new logo. He pointed to Duke's merger last year with Progress Energy.

"We're bringing Progress Energy customers into the Duke family and vice versa through the rebranding," Mosier said. He said the company operates conservatively and the merger is already saving the company on expenses.

The Public Service Commission will have the final say on the rate hike. Last year it decided to allow rates to go up at about half the level that Duke wanted. Look for public hearings on this issue in May and June.

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