Duke Energy Rate Hike Approved For Average $7 Monthly Bill Increase

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Duke Energy has won approval from a state agency for a rate increase for its North Carolina customers.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission announced the 7.2 percent rate increase approval on Friday. The Charlotte-based utility said a typical bill for a residential customer will increase by about $7 per month based on 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

Duke Energy says it needs the additional revenue for construction projects and to meet environmental laws.

The new electric rates will go into effect in early February.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement issued Friday night that his office intends to review the commission's decision and look at available options.

Duke Energy and Progress Energy have been working on a merger and the companies have filed a request for a rehearing on the merger with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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