Recovering Fleet Modernization Costs
In 2011, we expect to ask regulators in up to three of our five jurisdictions to approve customer rate increases so we can recover investments associated with environmental compliance and new plant construction. You might ask, “How does a rate increase support the affordable part of our mission, especially in these tough economic times?”
Here’s some perspective: Consider the graph on this page. It shows that the real cost of electricity, averaged and adjusted for inflation, has declined over the past 50 years. In fact, Duke Energy currently offers some of the most competitive electric rates in the United States. Our rates in the Carolinas, in particular, benefit from the low-cost, baseload nuclear power that serves our North Carolina and South Carolina customers.
In all our jurisdictions, we want to achieve pricing structures that balance customer and shareholder needs. To maintain that balance and keep rates low for customers, we must obtain timely recovery of our investments and earn a fair return.
We will continue to control costs and focus on productivity. To that end, we have held nonrecoverable operation and maintenance costs essentially flat for the past four years.