Duke Energy Carolinas seeks rate review from South Carolina regulators

Published on January 08, 2024 by Dave Kovaleski

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Duke Energy Carolinas is asking South Carolina regulators to review its rates for customers in that state.

If approved by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC), a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh would see an increase of about 14.6 percent or $17.83 per month beginning Aug. 1. Then, beginning on Aug. 1, 2026, residential rates would increase another 4.8 percent, resulting in an additional $10.25 per month.

To mitigate the requested rate increase, Duke Energy Carolinas has proposed to accelerate the return of excess deferred income tax benefits resulting from the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This proposal more quickly returns the outstanding tax benefits due to customers, making the requested increase in annual retail revenue about 11.4 percent, or a $239 million increase, over the first two years that the new rates would be effective.

Further, an additional overall increase of about 4.1 percent would occur after the first two years once the reduction for excess deferred income taxes expires. If the proposal to mitigate the requested increase is not approved, it would result in a requested annual revenue increase of $323 million, or an overall increase of about 15.5 percent, starting in year one of newly effective rates.

“We realize many of our customers are facing challenging times and we are committed to working to keep customer bills as low as possible,” Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president, said. “We also know that our customers expect us to responsibly invest for the future to increase the reliability and resiliency of our system, help reduce outages, protect against damage from extreme weather and provide them with the level of service they expect. These investments are the main reason for the proposed rate increase.”

Duke Energy has several energy efficiency programs available to customers that could help minimize the impact of the requested increase.

Duke Energy Carolinas supplies electricity to 2.8 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers across a 24,000-square-mile service area in North Carolina and South Carolina.