INDIANAPOLIS – Duke Energy customers will soon see a significant increase in their bills.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved the utility company’s request for a rate hike. It will result in an increase of about 16% for a typical residential customer.
According to Duke’s filing, the typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kWhs per month will see an increase of $22.59 on their bill. Someone who paid 141.20 on their last bill, for example, would see it increase to 163.79.
Duke had said the increase was needed due to rising fuel costs. The new rates take effect in July and will stay in place through September.
Duke Energy Indiana supplies electrical service to 810,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across the state, according to its website.
Duke applied for the change in its fuel adjustment charge in April; the IURC held a public hearing on June 15. The commission issued an order noting its approval for the hike on Wednesday.
In its filing, Duke noted that natural gas prices have been historically volatile, with recent spikes also noticeable in coal and wholesale power prices. These increases have made it challenging to project costs.
The utility company also pointed to supply chain issues, global fuel demand with a constrained supply and a tight labor market that has posed challenges to logistics and transportation.
While residential customers will see an average increase of 16%, rates will increase by about 20% for commercial customers and less than 26% for industrial customers, according to Duke’s filing.
Duke issued a statement on the increase:
Duke Energy is seeing the highest sustained prices for fuel that we have witnessed in a decade. Global demand and tight fuel supplies as well as labor shortages at coal mines and railroads are affecting the cost of the power we produce as well as what we purchase in the energy markets. These are not permanent rate increases. Fuel costs rise and fall, and we pass those costs to our customers with no profit, so customers pay what we pay. Our priority is to purchase fuel at the best possible price, through steps such as long-term contracts and using a diversity of suppliers.
To lessen the impact on customer bills, we are spreading recovery of some of these fuel costs over a longer period to reduce the rate impact. If you are struggling financially to pay your electric bill, contact us at 800.521.2232. We can discuss payment plans and resources for help.