The North Carolina Utilities Commission awarded the utility an overall 4.5 percent rate increase for the first two years Tuesday. Rates will increase 0.6 percent thereafter.
Typical residential bills would go up about $7 a month to $110.
Company officials said even with the approved increase, the company's rates remain below the national average.
"We're pleased the N.C. Utilities Commission has approved our revenue request," said Paul Newton, Duke Energy state president – North Carolina. "The decision reflects a balance between the needs of our company and those of our customers."
"This increase is critical to the company's modernization plan to address increasingly stringent environmental regulations, and also to retire and replace aging power plants," said Newton. "Today's order allows us to keep the rate increase as low as we reasonably can while still recovering these investment costs."
The nation's largest utility could face an appeal by Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Cooper appealed Duke's 2011 rate hike and won.