Duke Energy's residential customers will pay nearly 5 percent more for electricity, beginning next month, to account for high fuel costs, the Charlotte Observer reports.
The N.C. Utilities Commission, which approved the increase today, allows electric utilities to adjust customer charges once a year to reflect fuel costs.
Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said high coal prices and volatility, driven by worldwide demand, have driven up those adjustments for the past two years. A record-hot June 2008, leading to more fuel use, also drove up this year's adjustment.
The commission today approved a 4.8 percent increase in residential bills, pushing the average charge up $4.14 to $90.42 a month.
Charlotte-based Duke has more than 160,000 customers in the western Triangle. Read the full Charlotte Observer story here.