Friday, May 17, 2024 News · Press Releases

Groups reach settlement in South Carolina Duke Energy rate increase case

by Lily Abromeit

Agreement will expand low-income assistance and energy efficiency

Multiple groups, including the Coastal Conservation League, have reached a settlement with Duke Energy in its request to the Public Service Commission to raise rates about 20%, reducing the increase to around 13%. The typical customer using 1073 kilowatt hours will see a $13.44 increase on their monthly bill starting in August, with an additional $6.89 increase in August 2026. Originally, Duke sought to raise rates $19.18 in 2024 and $10.99 in August 2026.

The settlement includes commitments from Duke to expand its low-income energy efficiency programs and invest in low-income affordability. Duke has also committed $2 million in shareholder funding to go toward critical health and safety repairs and toward funding a Low-Income Affordability Working Group to study and develop programs for low-income customers. These commitments will help low-income customers overcome barriers to installing energy efficiency and managing electric bills.

“South Carolina has some of the highest energy bills in the country, and low-income customers are the most in need of relief,” said Kate Mixson, SELC Senior Attorney. “We’re pleased to have reached this settlement that will help families struggling to afford basic needs and essential services while trying to keep the lights on.”

The Coastal Conservation League, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Vote Solar, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, were among the parties that signed the agreement along with South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, the South Carolina Energy Users Committee, and the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

“This settlement will revamp how Duke tracks its reliability to better understand which customers experience better or worse reliability, and where they are in South Carolina,” said Jake Duncan, Southeast Regulatory Director at Vote Solar. “Across the county, some communities, especially communities of color and communities that are economically disadvantaged, have much less reliable power than others due to decades of uneven investment in grids. This settlement is a critical step toward helping the South Carolinians most vulnerable to outages.”


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