Progress Energy customers in this state can expect a moderate rate increase later this year, based on the electric utility's rate request in neighboring South Carolina.
Raleigh-based Progress today asked South Carolina regulators to raise the typical residential bill by about $5 a month in that state. The company is recovering fuel costs (mostly coal) and the cost of energy conservation programs.
Progress will likely make a similar filing in North Carolina next month, after two consecutive years of rate cuts that reflected falling energy costs in the wake of the recession. If approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission, the increase would be effective Dec. 1.
In South Carolina, Progress is seeking $3.71 for fuel costs and $1.25 for conseration intitiatives classified as energy efficiency programs and demand side management programs.
Utilities in this state are allowed to pass on their fuel costs to customers once a year.
The state's 2007 energy law allows power companies to charge customers for alternative energy projects, including conservation rebates, financial incentives and administrative costs of energy-efficiency programs.
Under that law, the maximum an electric utility can charge a residential customer for renewables and efficiency programs is $10 a year.
Last year Progress added several new green programs, including up to $10,000 to homeowners who install rooftop solar panels, and a program that pays $50 to haul away old, inefficient appliances.
In addition to supporting green energy programs, Utility customers pay for power plants, transmission lines, utility trucks and all other aspects of utility operations.