Duke Energy wants customers to pay more in order to cover storm repair costs

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- An active year for hurricanes and major storms in North Carolina has Duke Energy contemplating a rate hike.

Three major storms slammed the Carolinas over the last four months of 2018. The storms racked up a bill of more than $760 million.

Hurricane Florence alone cost Duke Energy hundreds of millions of dollars, and the company said it needs to pass on some of those costs to its customers.

The utility company said it needs Duke Energy Progress customers to help cover $450 million and Duke Energy Carolinas customers to help cover about $140 million. This request comes just a month after Duke Energy announced a separate rate hike for customers in eastern North Carolina.

Duke Energy will file a notice for the rate increase with the North Carolina Utilities Commission in 2019. It's unclear when (or if) the rate increase will go into effect.

"Ultimately the utilities commission will determine what costs are appropriate for customers," Jeff Brooks told ABC affiliate WSOC.

It's unclear at this time how much the rate increase would cost individual customers.
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