Duke Energy and local leaders hosted a meeting Wednesday night in Pelzer to reach out to customers, answer questions, and point them toward resources that could help lower their power bills.
Duke customer Anthony Johnson said his bills spike in the Winter months.
“$800 or $900 bill has gotten kind of ridiculous,” he said.
Johnson is one of a few dozen people who attended the meeting.
“We’re in Pelzer tonight really to connect with customers,” said Duke Energy spokesperson Ryan Mosier.
People who attended said they’re looking to lower their monthly energy bill. According to Mosier, customers should call the utility if they think something is wrong with their bill.
Another thing customers can do is have a home energy audit. Duke Energy will send a technician to evaluate energy use for free.
“They look at different aspects of the way that your home uses energy and your lifestyle uses energy, and they’ll give you a bunch of suggestions that you can implement,” Mosier said.
Others said they are concerned about a rate increase because they feel like their bills are already high.
Last year, the utility asked to raise its rates by 10 percent. According to the president of Duke Energy South Carolina, it was the first proposed rate increase in years. He said they need to raise rates sometimes to cover the costs of things such as fuel, infrastructure, and inflation.
After crowds showed up to meetings in opposition to the requested change, state regulators allowed a much smaller increase, and Duke Energy is considering asking for a “re-hearing.”
“That’s why we’re moving forward with a request for them to take a look at certain things like coal ash costs [and] the return on equity component of our request, and reconsider those,” Mosier said.