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Duke Energy Progress SC Rate Case

Duke Energy Progress South Carolina Rate Review Request

How we're building a smarter, more reliable energy future for the Palmetto State.

The energy sector is in a period of transformation and profound change driven by technological advancements, environmental and regulatory mandates, unpredictable and extreme weather, energy security and resiliency efforts, as well as changing customer expectations.

We are taking steps to anticipate and keep pace with the changes occurring in the Palmetto State to better serve our customers.

Comprehensive Settlement Agreement Approved – Feb. 9, 2023

The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) has approved a comprehensive settlement agreement with all parties in the Duke Energy Progress rate review request filed with the commission in September of last year. As a result, new customer rates are expected to take effect April 1.

The comprehensive agreement between the company and consumer, environmental and industrial groups in South Carolina was submitted in January in conjunction with a public hearing on the matter. 

Beginning April 1, the typical residential customer in South Carolina using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity will pay about $10.95 more per month, or 8.2%. Commercial and industrial customers will see an average increase of around 3.7% and 2.2%, respectively (actual rates vary by customer class and size).

The total increase will be approximately $52 million, about 41% less than the $89 million Duke Energy Progress requested to recover investments made to increase system reliability and resiliency, achieve a cleaner, smarter energy future, and focus on operational excellence and enhancing the customer experience for more than 172,000 customers in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

Among other provisions approved by the commission, the agreement resolves recovery of coal ash basin closure costs in this case, allows for continued investment in infrastructure to further modernize the grid, and establishes a reserve to help mitigate the costs to restore service after major storms. The settlement also allows Duke Energy Progress a return on equity of 9.6% and an equity component of the capital structure of 52.43%.

Original Rate Review Request — Sept. 1, 2022

On Sept. 1, 2022, Duke Energy Progress (DEP) filed the utility’s first base rate case in four years in South Carolina.

Recent investments made to increase system reliability and resiliency, achieve a cleaner, smarter energy future, and focus on operational excellence and enhancing the customer experience to more than 172,000 customers in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina are the primary reasons behind this request. The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) will ultimately determine what’s appropriate for customer rates based on a long-standing and very transparent public process for reviewing rate increase requests.

Why now?

We know electricity is a significant monthly expense for many customers and no one wants to see rising electric bills. This is particularly true now as a rising-cost environment across many sectors of our economy impacts consumers and businesses throughout South Carolina and the nation. 

That’s why we work every day to keep costs as low as possible for our customers and to avoid an increase to customer bills whenever possible, and we aggressively manage costs to delay the need to increase rates.

We are committed to helping customers who struggle to pay for basic needs with programs and tools to reduce their energy costs and keep their power on.

However, the conditions under which we operate have continued to evolve since the company’s last base rate change request in 2018. This changing environment challenges our ability to continue to provide the level of electric service our customers expect. These challenges affect the energy industry as a whole and the investments we have made and must continue to make are designed to keep pace with evolving customer needs and expectations.  

Recognizing these challenges, the company is committed to continue providing safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean electricity to our customers with high quality customer service, both today and in the future.

To achieve this, we must continue to invest in improving our grid and protecting it from extreme weather; the orderly transition to a clean, secure energy future; investing in ways to make the energy we produce more diverse, more resilient, and even more efficient for the benefit of our customers; and investing in new technologies to enhance the customer experience. 

Through smart investments, we’re working hard to meet customers’ expectations and build the foundation for a smarter energy future from which all South Carolinians can benefit. These investments are the main reason for the proposed rate increase.

Operational excellence and enhancing the customer experience

  • Customers today want more stream-lined options and versatility, driven by information about how they consume energy and by tools that help them manage their consumption.
  • Duke Energy Progress has taken steps to continuously improve the service our customers receive from, and the interactions they have with, the company since our last base rate increase. 

Increasing reliability and resiliency 

  • Technology is transforming South Carolina and changing the way customers use electricity and interact with their electric provider. Reliability remains essential as an increasingly connected population continues to expand. Today, the need for consistent, reliable service is not just the expectation of industry and manufacturing but extends into every home and business especially given the pandemic-related shift to hybrid work arrangements and online/home schooling—even at a time when that reliability is challenged by the increasing frequency of severe weather events and the threat of physical and cyber-attack.
  • Actions the company is taking to increase reliability and resiliency include our investments in cleaner, highly efficient generation resources and our continued plans to invest in our distribution grid, smart meters, and the tools we use to communicate with our customers.

Achieving a cleaner and smarter energy future

  • Duke Energy Progress is actively pursuing an orderly transition towards achieving a clean, secure energy future by taking steps to close the final chapters on our reliance on coal-fired generation and moving toward lower fuel-dependent generation resources. 
  • The voices of our customers and our investors have become increasingly clear on this topic -- they expect us to invest in cleaner power and are making economic growth decisions based on those expectations.  

Your voice matters

As part of the evaluation process, the PSCSC held public hearings to hear directly from customers on the request to increase their bills. Public hearings are an important part of this process. Customers can also provide written comments to the PSCSC.

The hearings were held at the following locations:

Dec. 8, 2022
Lee County Courthouse
123 South Main St.
Bishopville, SC 29010

Dec. 12, 2022
Sumter High School Auditorium
2580 McCray’s Mill Rd.
Sumter, SC 29154

Dec. 13, 2022
Florence County Public Service Building Auditorium
2685 S. Irby St.
Florence, SC 29505

In addition to in-person hearings, virtual hearings were available on the following dates.

Jan. 3, 2023
Jan. 5, 2023

Additional resources

The complete request and additional information can be found at the PSCSC website, docket number 2022-254-E. SC Map showing Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress Services Areas.

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What's Next?

Infographic: How a rate case works DEP

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Duke Energy South Carolina Rate Request

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