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The North Carolina Utilities Commission Approves Settlement in Duke Energy Carolinas Request to Raise Base Rates Dec. 8, 2009

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) Monday approved Duke Energy Carolinas’ proposed settlement in the company’s request to raise base rates for the first time since 1991.

The settlement was initially agreed upon by Duke Energy; the North Carolina Public Staff, which represents consumers; Carolina Utility Customers Association Inc. (CUCA); and Carolina Industrial Group for Fair Utility Rates (CIGFUR), which represents large businesses.

“We are pleased that the NCUC recognized how this settlement balances the challenging economic climate with the need for Duke Energy to raise its base rates,” said Jim Turner, Duke Energy’s group executive, president and chief operating officer of U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas. “This increase allows us to maintain our strong financial position in the industry and continue investing in our system to make it more reliable, efficient and clean.”

Consistent with the settlement agreement filed with the commission, a base rate increase of $315 million (or 8 percent) will be phased in over two years. However, additional steps outlined in the settlement help lower the total impact of this increase to customer bills to approximately 7 percent. The bottom line average increase to customers’ bills would be 3.8 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2010, and an additional 3.2 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

The entire order can be viewed at the NCUC website.

Money-Saving Opportunities for Customers
On June 1, Duke Energy launched a number of energy efficiency programs to help customers in the Carolinas save power and money. In North Carolina, the average residential customer can save about $5 a month by participating in energy conservation programs.

From programs to help qualified customers improve energy efficiency in their homes, to cash incentives for purchasing energy-efficient equipment, these programs are first steps in helping residents and businesses lower their energy bills. Other programs will enable customers to save even more by allowing the utility to manage their energy use in times of high demand. More information is available at http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/savings.asp.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,000 megawatts of electricity capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 22,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: http://www.duke-energy.com/.


Contact: Paige Sheehan
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