Duke proposes lower rates for Upstate

Nearly 600,000 customers of Duke Energy across Upstate South Carolina may see lower energy rates.

Duke Energy Carolinas — which serves nearly 560,000 customers, mainly in the Upstate —  has filed a fuel charge adjustment with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.

The filing is an annual requirement that Duke meets in North and South Carolina. According to Ryan Mosier, Duke Energy – South Carolina spokesman, the intent is to “shore up” its rates to ensure that whatever is used is paid for, “no more, no less.” Duke Energy is not allowed to make a profit from the fuel component of rates.

“We ended up with an overcollection, which means money back in our customers’ pockets,” Mosier said.

If the adjustment is approved, residential customers will see an estimated 0.9% decrease, or $1.06 per month for those using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month.

General-service customers may see a decrease of around 2.4%, with lighting customers getting a decrease of 1.4% and industrial customers seeing an approximate 3.5% decrease in rates.

According to Mosier, primary reasons for adjusting the fuel charge lower is the lower projected cost and natural gas prices in addition to a $19 million decrease in fuel costs from the previous year’s projections. The company’s deductions were also offset by higher projected nuclear fuel prices and higher sales.

The fuel rate is based on the projected cost of fuel used to provide electric service to Duke’s customers plus a truing up of the prior year’s projections.

If the adjustment is approved in South Carolina, the new rates will take effect Oct. 1.

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Alyssa BennettDuke proposes lower rates for Upstate