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Duke Energy gets $146M rate increase, but it's 60% lower than it sought

Duke Energy fires meter reader following complaints about incorrect bills
Posted at 6:08 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 07:16:16-04

INDIANAPOLIS — State regulators on Monday approved a base rate increase for Duke Energy, however, it's 60% lower than what the utility company sought.

According to a report from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Duke Energy was granted an additional annual revenue of approximately $146 million. It is significantly lower than the utility company's original request of $395 million and its later revised request of $362 million.

The approved increase with be implemented in two phases, according to the IURC. Duke Energy's most recent base rate case was decided in May 2004.

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As part of its decision, the IURC implemented rate mitigation measures to reduce the impact of Duke's proposed rate increase. Among the measures is lowering the utility's authorized return on equity from the Duke-proposed 10.4 percent to 9.7 percent and changing the investment recovery methodology to reduce the near term impact of Duke's recent investments on customers.

The utility company's investments were part of its arguments for why it needed the rate increase when the request was announced last summer.

"We've made investments to meet the needs of a customer base that has grown by more than 100,000 since our last full-scale rate review," Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar said at the time of the request. "We also have environmental responsibilities and are taking significant steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and move to a cleaner power generation mix. And we are upgrading our electric grid to improve reliability, help avoid power outages and speed service restoration when outages do occur."