Duke Energy rates in Upstate to rise starting next month

Post and Courier
July 11, 2024

Duke Energy rates in Upstate to rise starting next month

By Conor Hughes

GREENVILLE — Duke Energy customers in the Upstate will pay more for electricity starting next month after the state approved the utility’s request for a rate bump.

Starting Aug. 1, the average residential customer in the Upstate using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month will pay roughly $12 more per bill, according to an announcement from Duke. As part of the settlement, another rate hike will go into effect Aug. 1, 2026, amounting to a little more than $6 for the same customer, totaling an increase of about $18 a month.

Commercial and industrial customers will also see an increase of about 4.5 percent.

The power company filed its request to the state to raise rates in January. The Public Service Commission of South Carolina approved the increase July 8.

While Duke originally requested a rate hike that would come out to a $323 million bump in its annual revenue, the settlement the commission approved this week gives the company a yearly increase that comes out to about $234 million.

That reduction comes after months of public input and negotiations with consumer protection groups, chief among them South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff. The state Small Business Chamber of Commerce was also involved in the settlement, and the group’s president Frank Knapp said his organization is satisfied with the result.

“We accepted it,” he said. “It’s as good as we were going to get.”

According to the utility’s initial application, the hike is driven by a number of capital improvements and infrastructure updates in recent years, designed to “technologically enhance the system while simultaneously increasing the resiliency of the system by helping to reduce outages.”

Among those expenses was a $952 million investment in hydroelectric facilities, $128 million to solar infrastructure and $1.38 billion to existing nuclear plants.



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