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The increase will be spread out over a two-year period, and is expected to increase an average customer's bill by 5.5%. For Duke, that translates to a 10.2% return-on-equity.
"We understand there is never a good time to increase rates," said Duke Energy's NC President Paul Newton in a statement. "However, we believe this approved settlement will allow us to keep the rate increase to customers as low as we reasonably can, and still recover the investments we've made to modernize our system and to ensure safe, reliable and increasingly clean electricity for the future."
As part of the agreement, the utility will contribute up to $20 million in bill subsidies for low-income customers, as well as provide workforce training. Regulators concurrently approved a $20 million write-off in removal liabilities for the company. According to Duke, its new rates remain below the national average electricity bill.