Duke Energy customers in South Carolina are likely to see an increase in their power bills at the start of 2017.
Officials said Tuesday evening at a public meeting held by the South Carolina Public Service Commission that rate increases will be just over 10 percent, phased in over a two-year period.
In practical terms, a customer with a monthly bill of about $100 each month would see an increase of about $7.75 each month in 2017. In the second year the bill would increase by less than $4 per month. In other words, just over $10 more per month by 2018 for customers in that fee range.
Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said this is the first rate-increase request by the company in over 28 years.
“A lot has changed in the last few years,” he said. “There are more regulations that we have to be a part of. We have to improve our infrastructure for 21st-century service to our customers. That takes costs and those costs have been accruing.”
Duke Energy filed the application the application for an increase on July 1 this year, originally seeking to raise the company’s revenue by about $79 million.
A settlement agreement reached between Duke Energy, the Office of Regulatory Staff, the S.C. Energy Users Committee, Nucor Steel of South Carolina and Charter Communications brought that number down to about $56.2 million.
Rate increases by class over a two-year period would include 8.5 percent for the small general service class, 10.4 percent for the medium general service class and 10.3 percent for the large general service class.
Duke Energy requested the rate increases be effective on Jan. 1. The Public Service Commission said it will reach a decision by Dec. 30.