County officials caught off guard by additional five percent increase
People will soon be feeling an additional money crunch due to an approved five percent rate increase on electricity statewide. On Tuesday, August 9, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) formally approved Duke Energy's petition for the rate increase, which will be effective starting September 1. The five percent increase follows on the heels of a much larger 17 percent that Duke Energy applied for in July.
According to Betsy Conway, spokesperson for Duke Energy, the billing system is set up to have two separate components that appear on the customer's monthly bill. Conway explained that one component is fuel rating, and that its increase in recent years justifies Duke's five percent increase. This component pays the company to maintain their facilities and, according to Conway, is the “price incurred to generate power across the system.” Based on an annual report that the company is required to make and the current fuel costs at that time, those rates are adjusted accordingly.