Duke Energy Carolinas files S.C. rate increase request

            Duke Energy Carolinas files S.C. rate increase request

PR Newswire

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 18, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Duke Energy Carolinas today
filed a request with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC)
to increase electric rates by about $220 million, for an overall increase of
15.1 percent.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20040414/DUKEENERGYLOGO )

More than half of the request is driven by capital investments that Duke
Energy Carolinas has made in the electric system that serves 540,000
households and businesses in South Carolina.

"As part of our ongoing fleet-modernization plan, we have recently built and
put into service two new, state-of-the art power plants that will provide
cleaner electricity and serve our customers reliably for decades to come,"
said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy's South Carolina state president.

"Our new Dan River natural gas plant does twice the job of the retired Dan
River coal plant, and it does so with significantly lower emissions," Gillespy
said. "Meanwhile, new advanced technology at the Cliffside Steam Station,
completed at the end of 2012, removes 99 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions
and 90 percent of nitrogen and mercury emissions."

The following chart illustrates the proposed average rate increase by customer
class:

Customer Class Average Rate Increase Percentage
Residential    16.3%
Commercial     14.0%
Industrial     14.4%
Lighting       15.9%

This table shows the average impact of the proposed changes for each customer
class. The specific increase or decrease to individual customers will vary
depending upon the rates they pay and other factors.

Today, a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of
electricity per month pays $100.45. If the company's rate increase is approved
as filed, that bill will increase by $17.83.

"Electric service for our customers is an excellent value. For our typical
customers, the daily cost of powering their homes is somewhere between the
price of a gallon of gas and a premium cup of coffee," Gillespy said. "Even
with the proposed increase, Duke Energy Carolinas' rates would remain below
the national average. When adjusted for inflation, our customers are still
paying less for electricity than they did in 1991."

Why Raise Rates?
The proposed rate increase is needed to begin paying the company back for
money it has already invested in new, cleaner and more efficient power plants
and equipment, and to comply with increasing state and federal regulations.

Examples of Duke Energy's electric system investments include:

  oDan River Combined Cycle Station in Eden, N.C. — This 620-megawatt plant
    uses cleaner, lower-cost natural gas to replace a similar amount of older,
    less efficient coal-fired generation. The capital cost included in this
    rate case is $673 million.
  oCliffside Steam Station Unit 6 in Mooresboro, N.C. — This 825-megawatt
    coal plant employs state-of-the-art emission controls to remove 99 percent
    of sulfur dioxide, 90 percent of nitrogen oxides and 90 percent of
    mercury. The high-efficiency technology burns less coal per megawatt-hour
    of electricity generated than most other coal units in the nation. The
    capital cost included in this rate case is $236 million.
  oOconee Nuclear Station, Oconee County, S.C. — New safety and security
    measures have been installed to continue to protect the plant from extreme
    conditions or a natural disaster. The Oconee plant is a safe and efficient
    source of carbon-free electricity generation. The capital cost included in
    this rate case is $141 million.
  oMcGuire Nuclear Station, Mecklenburg County, N.C. — Upgrades have been
    made to the facility to make it more efficient, and to increase the amount
    of carbon-free electricity it produces. The capital cost included in this
    rate case is $135 million.

In addition to the investments in new generation, the rate request also seeks
to cover:

  oImprovements to the vegetation management program that will enhance
    overall reliability to customers by reducing the likelihood of
    tree-related outages.
  oFederally mandated, industry-wide nuclear power plant safety upgrades and
    cyber security enhancements.

The impact of these new costs, as well as the company's existing costs, is
magnified because these costs have been spread across lower sales volumes
experienced since the last rate case.

"We're committed to minimizing the impact of increased costs on our
customers," Gillespy said. "We offer a number of energy-efficiency programs
and assistance for low-income customers. Since 1985, our Share the Warmth
Program has given more than $33 million to low-income customers for heating
bills during the winter season."

Since the company's 2011 rate case, Duke Energy Carolinas and its customers,
employees and shareholders have provided about $1 million to these programs in
South Carolina communities.

Duke Energy made a $4 million donation to AdvanceSC, stemming from the
company's last rate case. Duke Energy created AdvanceSC in 2004 to support
communities in the company's South Carolina service territory through grants
for public assistance and economic development programs. Since its creation,
AdvanceSC has given more than $67 million to these programs.

Customers can help control their energy costs with efficiency programs. Learn
more at http://www.duke-energy.com/youtility/.

The company's request proposes an allowed return on common equity (ROE) of
11.25 percent (the current allowed ROE in South Carolina is 10.5 percent) with
a 53 percent common equity component. The South Carolina retail rate base is
expected to be approximately $4.3 billion through the date of the hearings.

For more details on the company's request to increase rates, visit
http://www.duke-energy.com/scratecase

Additional Information
The testimony filed in support of the company's request can be viewed at the
PSCSC website (search using Docket No. 2013-59-E).

Photos of some of the capital investments made in the Carolinas electric
system can be downloaded from Flickr.

Duke Energy Carolinas
Duke Energy Carolinas generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity
in central and western North Carolina and western South Carolina. Duke Energy
Carolinas' service area covers 24,000 square miles and supplies electric
service to 2.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is a Fortune 250
company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More
information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
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Bob Drennan  704-382-4070
Bill Currens 704-382-1603

SOURCE Duke Energy

Website: http://www.duke-energy.com
 
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