GREENVILLE, S.C. – Duke Energy Progress has reached a comprehensive agreement with all parties, including consumer, environmental and industrial groups in South Carolina, for its rate review request filed in September of last year.
If the agreement is approved by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina, the company plans to implement the increase beginning April 1, with the typical residential customer in South Carolina using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity paying about $10.95 more per month. The agreement will also impact the rates of commercial and industrial customers.
The total increase will be approximately $52 million, about 41% less than the $89 million Duke Energy Progress requested to recover investments made to increase system reliability and resiliency, achieve a cleaner, smarter energy future, and focus on operational excellence and enhancing the customer experience for more than 172,000 customers in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.
Among other provisions, the agreement resolves recovery of coal ash basin closure costs in this case as well as allows Duke Energy Progress a return on equity of 9.6% and an equity component of the capital structure of 52.43%.
The agreement was reached with the Office of Regulatory Staff, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the South Carolina Energy Users Committee, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Coastal Conservation League, Vote Solar, the Sierra Club, the Department of Defense/Federal Executive Agencies, Walmart, Nucor Steel and the Small Business Chamber of Commerce.
“We appreciate the parties giving such thoughtful consideration to the needs of customers and to our ability to continue investing in the state’s vibrant economy,” said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina state president. “Especially during these challenging economic times, Duke Energy Progress stands ready to deliver the energy future our customers expect, to respond to destructive storms quickly and safely, to help our customers in need, and to act in our customers’ best interests.”
Below is a statement of Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC). The SCSBCC intervened in the SC Public Service Commission’s (PSC) hearing on Duke Energy Progress’s rate hike proposal that would have seen increased rates for small businesses by 12.1%. A comprehensive settlement agreement signed by all parties has been submitted to the PSC for its approval. SCSBCC is represented in this rate case by the Terreni Law Firm in Columbia.
“The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is pleased that a comprehensive settlement agreement has been reached by all intervening parties to Duke Energy Progress’s (DEP) proposed increase on electricity rates in its 13-county service area. If the PSC approves the settlement, small businesses will not see their electric rates increase by 12.1% as proposed by DEP. Instead, small businesses will see only a 5.33% increase for about 33 months and then a 2.94% incremental increase. The SCSBCC appreciates the hard work and leadership of the SC Office of Regulatory Staff in securing this very favorable outcome for small businesses.”