Duke Energy Cuts Initial Rate Hike Proposal In Half

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Duke Energy has agreed to a 7.2 percent rate increase for its customers in North Carolina, cutting its initial proposal in half.

The Charlotte Observer reports the utility agreed in principle on Tuesday to the limited increase with the N.C. Utilities Commission's Public Staff, which represents customers. The agreement gives each of Duke's major customer classes - residential, industrial and commercial - the same 7.2 percent increase.

The commission itself still has to approve the proposal, and a hearing begins Monday. Last week, Duke Energy had cut its proposed North Carolina rate increase from 15 percent to 12 percent.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, whose job is also to advocate for consumers, immediately announced he would oppose the increase.

Duke has 1.8 million customers in North Carolina.

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