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Frequently Asked Questions

2019 Duke Energy Carolinas Rate Case

  • A base rate case is a public regulatory review process where a utility must demonstrate to the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) why a proposed increase in rates is needed. This independent, public process helps ensure transparency and fair rates based on the costs to serve our customers.
  • We work hard every day to keep costs reasonable for our customers and to avoid an increase to customer bills whenever possible. Duke Energy has made investments to shift to cleaner energy, improve reliability and grid resiliency and provide more convenience for customers and now asks the NCUC to review its rates. Ultimately, the NCUC determines any change to customer bills.
  • We work every day to manage the cost customers pay for service, including costs associated with safe basin closure. In 2018, the NCUC determined that managing waste and safely closing ash basins is part of the work to supply customers with reliable electricity to meet their energy needs. And therefore, the costs to comply with environmental requirements established by state and federal regulators are appropriate to include in customer bills.
  • Duke Energy Carolinas is obligated to provide every customer in our service area with reliable electricity at rates set by the NCUC. In exchange, the utility is allowed the opportunity to earn a fair return for investors. Even though our regulators will ultimately determine any changes to customer rates, we pledge to do our part to keep rates as reasonable as possible.
  • First, Duke Energy Carolinas must demonstrate to the NCUC why the money the company has spent was in the public’s best interest. The Public Staff and other interested stakeholders audit our filings and vet the company’s request. The NCUC then thoroughly reviews our request and holds multiple public hearings across the Duke Energy Progress territory to allow customers to comment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the expert testimony phase of the hearings was delayed to summer 2020, when the Commission will consider our written and oral testimony, along with viewpoints from customer groups and other stakeholders. We expect a decision by the end of 2020.
  • It’s important to us to give customers more options to help them better manage energy and ultimately save money – so we’re connecting with customers through tools like usage updates from their smart meters, free home energy audits and a menu of energy-saving tips, programs and incentives for every budget. To find the right energy-saving program for your household, visit

    We also know rising costs can be difficult for many customers, but particularly challenging for our customers on low and fixed incomes. The filing proposes no increase in the monthly basic service charge and requests that the NCUC convene a broad stakeholder workshop to evaluate additional regulatory programs and protections for low-income customers, ranging from efficiency programs to potential new tariffs and other initiatives.
  • We recognize that there is no good time to increase rates, especially now. However, North Carolina homes and businesses are relying on Duke Energy, and its financial strength, to ensure that customers continue to receive a vital service during this pandemic. The consistent and timely recovery of prudently incurred costs is important as we continue to reliably and safely serve customers despite these challenges. Duke Energy incurred most of the costs at issue in this case back in 2018.

    In addition to delaying the rate cases, we have taken several steps to provide relief to customers, including suspending service disconnections for unpaid bills and waiving late payment fees and fees for returned payments. And we will continue to look for ways we can support customers.
  • We are working hard to build a better grid that is engineered for the future and improve the way we serve customers. Through grid improvements, we are working to:

    • Improve reliability to avoid outages and speed restoration
    • Strengthen the grid against physical and cyber impacts
    • Expand solar and renewables across a two-way, smart-thinking grid
    • Give more options and control over energy use and tools to save money
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