NC regulators approve Duke Energy Progress rate cut

State regulators have approved a nearly 2 percent rate cut for Duke Energy Progress customers that will go into effect Dec. 1.

The company says the typical residential bill – defined as using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month – will see their monthly electricity bill reduced from $111.39 a month to about $109.27 a month. Commercial customers will see a 2.2 percent decrease per month, and industrial customers will see a 1.1 percent monthly decrease.

Progress, the Raleigh subsidiary of Duke Energy, is cutting rates to reflect the decreasing cost of coal and other fuels used in power plants. By law, Duke can make no profit from the fuel component of rates.

Duke Energy Progress has 1.3 million customers in Raleigh and Eastern North Carolina.

The reduction is separate from the 5.5 percent “base rate” increase that the N.C. Utilities Commission approved for Duke Energy Progress earlier this year. The base rate is the utility profit center built into every power bill. The 5.5 percent hike was Duke Progress’ first base rate increase since 1990.

But N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has appealed the increase as well as rate increases approved for Duke Energy and Dominion Power. Cooper’s appeals are based on the premise that the Utilities Commission did not factor in customers’ financial pain when approving the rate increases.