Duke Energy proposes $55 million in rate increases on Ohio customers

The monthly electric bill a “typical customer” would increase around $4.50/month.
Duke Energy is proposing rate increases as a result of its ongoing grid investments in Ohio,...
Duke Energy is proposing rate increases as a result of its ongoing grid investments in Ohio, according to a company statement.(KFDA)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Ohio customers could see their electric bills go up by nearly 4 percent if the state’s Public Utilities Commission approves Duke Energy’s recommended rate increase.

The company, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, submitted a filing to the PUC on Friday requesting the increase.

A company statement explains the request is a result of “ongoing investments” to improve energy infrastructure and “enhance value” to its 735,000 Ohio customers, most of which are located in the southwest region of the state.

Those investments include the buildout of a “smart” grid that automatically isolates issues and reroutes power to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.

More can be found about the grid improvements, including dynamic “time-of-use” rate pricing, here.

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The proposed rate hike would total $55 million across all Ohio customers.

The monthly electric bill for what the company defines as a “typical customer” would increase 3.86 percent or around $4.50/month.

Seemingly as a tradeoff, the company is offering a fee-free payment option that would cut out the third-party payment processer it currently uses.

Currently, customers pay $1.50 in fees when paying utility bills with credit cards, debit cards or electronic checks.

The company says the average customer energy bill would remain below the national average even with the rate increase.

The PUC will initiate a detailed review of the proposed increase with a ruling expected by summer 2022.

Information for those who wish to comment on the proposal can be found here.

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