Electric Rates 101
The cost of living goes up and up. Some things go up more than others.
Take your electric bill. If you're a Duke Energy Carolinas customer, you haven't seen it go up nearly as much as other things you buy. Like milk. Or coffee. Or an airplane ticket.
That's because the price of most consumer products is market-driven. What customers are willing to pay determines the price.
Electric utilities are different.
Here in the Carolinas, customers can't go to the utility next door for their power. So we're required to offer electricity to all of our customers at fair and reasonable rates.
But who decides what's fair and reasonable?
State utility regulators do, through a public and transparent process called a rate case. Their job is to balance the needs of customers with the needs of the utility.
The rates are based on the revenue the utility needs in order to build, operate and maintain its power plants, pole and wires – plus the opportunity to earn a fair profit. We're a business, after all, with shareholders who expect a return on their investment.
This video shows how rates cases work.