Duke Energy Carolinas proposes annual update to charges related to fuel, renewable energy, energy efficiency programs For the first time since 2011, higher fuel-related costs to increase monthly bills for the utility's customers in North Carolina
Duke Energy Carolinas made its annual filings with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) for costs associated with fuel, compliance with the state's renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS), and implementation of energy efficiency (EE) and demand-side management (DSM) programs.
For the first time since 2011, Duke Energy Carolinas customers in North Carolina will see a slight increase in their monthly energy bill related to fuel charges if the company's annual filings are approved by the NCUC.
If approved by the commission, typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see an increase of about $2.60, or around 2.5 percent, from $103.98 to $106.58. This would cover all of the proposed changes (fuel, REPS, DSM, EE).
Last year, monthly bills decreased by more than $3 when these annual charges were approved by the NCUC. As with the fuel charge decreases the company's customers have experienced since 2011, the proposed increase this year would affect the bills of all Duke Energy Carolinas customers in North Carolina. The company's other North Carolina utility - Duke Energy Progress - will make its annual filings in June.
By law, the company makes no profit from the fuel component of rates.
What's driving the increase
Duke Energy Carolinas makes a fuel cost-recovery filing annually in North Carolina. The fuel rate is based on the projected cost of fuel used to provide electric service to the company's customers, plus a true-up of the prior year's projection.
This year's proposed increase is primarily the result of a net loss from the sale of beneficial generation byproducts, such as gypsum and coal ash. While the sales resulted in a net loss, beneficially reusing byproducts can provide potential savings to customers when compared to other disposal methods.
Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency
Duke Energy Carolinas has filed to recover the costs of implementing a suite of programs designed to help reduce customers' energy consumption and save them money on their energy bills. The residential increase is primarily due to increased participation in these programs.
For non-residential customers, the fee adjustment is the result of increased program costs and participation coupled with the impact of fewer non-residential customers electing to participate in the company's rider.
Duke Energy Carolinas filed for a decrease in the monthly charge to customers for the utility's compliance with the state's renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS). This proposed decrease is primarily due to the return of an overcollection in REPS cost for the 2016 true-up period.
If approved, the new fuel and REPS rates will go into effect Sept. 1, 2017. The EE and DSM rates will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.
About Duke Energy Carolinas
Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas, renewables and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,700 megawatts of owned electric capacity to about 2.5 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.
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