HomeSouth CarolinaDuke Energy Carolinas agrees to lower rate hike in South Carolina settlement

Duke Energy Carolinas agrees to lower rate hike in South Carolina settlement

Columbia, South Carolina – Duke Energy Carolinas has agreed on a settlement for the rate review it submitted in January. If the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) approves this, there will be a total rate increase of about $240 million. This increase is roughly 26 percent lower than the $323 million originally asked for by Duke Energy Carolinas. The company aimed to use this extra funding to improve the diversity and reliability of their systems, enhance customer service, and support the energy needs of nearly 660,000 customers, mainly in South Carolina’s Upstate area.

Moreover, the rate hike will be cut down by about $84 million until July 31, 2026, bringing the net increase to around $156 million. This adjusted increase comes from the company’s plan to quickly return excess deferred income tax benefits to its customers. These benefits are due to the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and this adjustment will last for two years.

Should the commission give the green light, a typical home using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will face a monthly increase of $12.53 starting August 1. Furthermore, from August 1, 2026, there will be an additional monthly increase of $6.42 for these typical residential customers.

The settlement also covers the costs of new investments in natural gas, nuclear, solar, and hydroelectric power sources. Additionally, it addresses spending on the power grid, a new corporate headquarters, and environmental compliance. The agreement includes a provision of $2 million to support low-income customer assistance and weatherization programs through a collaborative of stakeholders.

Read also: South Carolina gas prices experience modest decrease, providing relief to drivers

“We are taking steps to keep pace with and anticipate the changes occurring in our state,” Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president, said. “If approved, this agreement will support our efforts to diversify and enhance our system and continue our track record of operational excellence while keeping costs to customers as low as possible. We appreciate the parties involved thoughtfully considering the needs of our customers and our ability to continue investing in our state’s booming economy.”

This agreement was formed with the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, the South Carolina Energy Users Committee, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Coastal Conservation League, Vote Solar, and the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, while not direct signatories, Walmart and CMC Recycling have expressed their support for the agreement’s approval.

Read also: South Carolina Department of Transportation allocates $719 million for road improvements

Duke Energy Carolinas supplies electricity to 2.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in North Carolina and South Carolina.

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