Duke Energy: Cleaner power and more reliable energy drive Duke Energy rate request
Duke Energy filed a request to increase rates with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The proposed new rates will be used to cover a range of upgrades, improvements and innovations that our customers value, such as generating cleaner electricity, improving the reliability of our electric service, and making investments to serve a growing customer base. I have attached a fact sheet about our rate request. The filing will be accessible soon on the commission’s website at in.gov/iurc/.
Our request is for an overall average rate increase of approximately 15 percent averaged across all customer groups. If approved, the increase will be added to bills in two steps, with a proposed approximate 13 percent increase in 2020 and a 2 percent increase in 2021. The increase will vary among consumers, depending on the cost to serve different types of customers.
If approved by the commission, the company’s average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month can expect a monthly bill increase of approximately $23, or approximately 77 cents per day.
Although a regulatory schedule has not been established, state utility regulators will hold hearings and take testimony from interested parties. There also will be field hearings for the public to attend and comment. After extensive review, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will issue an order, possibly in the spring or summer of 2020.
Key drivers of the increase request include:
- Growth. We have added nearly 100,000 customers since our last full-scale rate review, and some of the investments in our rate request reflect this growth.
- Transitioning to cleaner energy. In 2018, nearly 90 percent of the power Duke Energy produced in Indiana was generated by coal. We anticipate tougher environmental regulations, possible carbon taxes and increased economic competitiveness in renewable energy sources. To prepare, we are planning to diversify our generation by advancing the retirement dates for some of our Indiana coal-fired power units.
- Improving our system to increase reliability and reduce power outages. This includes investments to trim trees and manage vegetation as well as strengthening our system and structures through work such as replacing some of our wooden poles with more resilient steel and concrete structures. Improvements also include line sensors that detect problems, reduce power outages, and limit the number of customers affected when outages do occur.
- Environmental investments. Federal rules are changing the way companies manage coal ash and part of our rate request is related to the costs of closing coal ash basins in in compliance with stricter regulations.
- Providing information and convenience to customers. We are installing smart meters which help customers track their energy usage so that they can adjust energy consumption and save on their electric bill. These meters can also help us identify customers who are out of power following a storm.
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