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NC regulators approve Duke Energy rate hike

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina regulators have approved a rate increase of 4.5% for Duke Energy Carolinas.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the increase Tuesday.

The rate hike increases to an overall average of 5.1% after two years.

Regulators say the typical residential electric bill would go up about $7.60 a month in 2015, to a monthly average of $110.

Duke Energy Carolinas serves nearly 2 million customers in North Carolina.

Duke Energy Carolinas President Paul Newton says the higher rates are needed to modernize its equipment to meet environmental regulations.

Some of the money will be used to retire and replace old plants That includes a new coal-powered unit near Cliffside and a natural gas fueled plant in Eden.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office could appeal the increase.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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