New rates approved for Duke Energy's South Carolina customers

Charlotte, N.C., January 26, 2012 — The Public Service Commission of South Carolina approved an increase to electric rates for Duke Energy's South Carolina customers.

The PSCSC accepted the settlement among Duke Energy Carolinas, the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff and Walmart Stores East.

Duke Energy Carolinas will increase its customer rates in South Carolina by $92.8 million, with an allowed return on common equity of 10.5 percent and a 53 percent equity component of the capital structure.

The average rate increase is 5.98 percent, but the list below shows the approximate increase for each customer class. The specific increase for individual customers will vary, depending on the rate they pay and other factors.

* Residential – 7.1 percent increase, about $6 each month for customers who use 1,000 kWh a month

* Commercial (general service) – 5.2 percent

* Industrial – 5.1 percent

* Lighting – 5.8 percent
 
The new rates will go into effect on Feb. 6, 2012.

Additionally, Duke Energy Carolinas will donate $4 million to AdvanceSC, a limited liability company established by Duke Energy in 2004 to support communities in Duke Energy's South Carolina service area. The money will be used for grants for low income assistance, education initiatives, economic development and existing manufacturing support.

Under the provisions of the revised rates, the company's current Bulk Power Marketing profit sharing allocation will change to provide 50 percent to AdvanceSC, 40 percent to customers, and 10 percent to the company. The previous formula provided 50 percent to AdvanceSC and 50 percent to the company.

As part of Duke Energy Carolinas' modernization plan, the company expects two new power plants to begin producing electricity for customers in 2012. As a result, the company plans to request an additional rate increase in 2012 to recover the costs of these new plants and other capital investments made on behalf of customers.

The company continues to await a decision from the North Carolina Utilities Commission on its request to increase electric rates in North Carolina.

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