INDIANAPOLIS — Duke Energy has submitted an application to the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission for a 16% increase in what it charges customers.
Four times a year, utility companies across the state discuss with the IURC the prices they believe the companies should pay.
“Duke Energy is experiencing the highest sustained fuel prices we’ve seen in a decade,” said Angeline Protogere of Duke Energy Indiana.
As the company says it is seeing a sharp increase in its fuel costs, this has led it to request a rate increase. But Duke says the raise won’t be permanent.
“A big part of a customer’s electricity bill is fuel-related,” Protogere said. “It can be up to 30% of a bill. So when you have volatile markets, it can have a big impact on a client’s bill.”
If approved, this 16% rate increase would likely take effect from July and last through September. As for whether customers will see relief as fall approaches, probably not.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing continued volatility in the market and we expect the price rally to continue throughout the year,” Protogere said.
Duke Energy says it does not make a profit on fuel costs and the increase is due to higher electricity costs. The company makes a profit, but Duke says the profit is a fixed rate determined by the IURC.
WRTV contacted the IURC but received no response on the amount of this benefit.
Duke Energy says if customers are having trouble paying their bills, the company has resources.
“We urge customers to contact us if they are having difficulty paying their bills and we can consider options for them, such as a flexible payment plan,” Protogere said. “We also have a financial aid program called ‘Share the Light’.”
The IRC will decide next month whether to approve Duke Energy’s request for a rate increase.
WRTV also contacted other power companies to see if they were considering asking for higher rates, but received no response.
According to Duke Energy, regardless of where your electricity comes from, you will most likely see an increase in your bill this summer.
For more details on Duke Energy’s assistance programs, click here.