CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Next year, local Duke Energy customers could see an increase in their bills, and the utility is already talking about when it could ask to raise rates.
It is still unclear how much rates would increase for more than 3 million Duke customers in North Carolina, but Channel 9 learned that the request won't happen until the second half of 2017, and won't impact customers until next year.
Part of possible rate increase stems from the massive coal ash spill that happened in 2014 at the Dan River.
Duke Energy says the new rate hikes will help pay for four projects:
- The $900 million needed for coal ash clean-up efforts
- More than $150 million to cover the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew
- To help pay for the new power plant in Anderson County, S.C.
- Nuclear uprates
Last year, Duke Energy raised rates to cover the costs of energy saving programs and customers using 1,000 kilowatts a month saw an extra $3 on their bills.
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