Duke Energy Carolinas has filed a plan to accelerate savings to North Carolina customers starting in September.

As part of its COVID-19 response, the company is adding fuel savings from the first quarter of 2020 to its pending fuel filing to bring more savings to customers this year – rather than including in next year’s filing.

The result is an additional 1.11% reduction in fuel costs on customer bills starting Sept. 1, on top of the 1.9% decrease the company already requested in February.

“As many families and businesses are facing financial challenges, we understand that every little bit can help,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We’re looking at every opportunity to help our customers during these unprecedented times.”

If approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month would see a net decrease in their bills from the current $107.31 to $104.28 – a decrease of $3.03, or 2.8%, due to fuel savings and other annual adjustments.

Commercial customers would see an overall average decrease in their bills of about 2.7%. Industrial customers would receive an average decrease of about 2.5%.

The net decrease in rates includes annual adjustments for costs related to fuel used to generate electricity at power plants, as well as compliance with the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard and implementation of the competitive procurement of renewable energy statute.

Rates will adjust again slightly in January to account for programs to help increase efficiency, reduce energy consumption and save customers money on their energy bills.

The fuel rate is based on the projected cost of fuel used to generate electricity for customers, plus a true-up of the prior year’s projection.

While the company’s actual costs are typically calculated through the previous December, the updated filing includes a true-up through March to provide more immediate benefit to customers. By law, the company makes no profit from the fuel component of rates.

The original proposal was presented to the NCUC in February prior to the current state of emergency.

Duke Energy Carolinas serves 2 million households and businesses in central and western North Carolina, including Durham, the Triad and Charlotte.

The proposed decrease would affect the bills of all Duke Energy Carolinas customers in North Carolina. The company’s other North Carolina utility – Duke Energy Progress – will make its annual fuel filing in June.

More Help for Customers

In March, Duke Energy announced it will not disconnect any customer’s service for nonpayment, in order to give customers experiencing financial hardship extra time to make payments. The company will continue to read meters and send bills.

The company is also waiving late payment fees and fees for returned payments for its millions of electric and natural gas customers across its service territories until the national state of emergency is lifted. For residential customers, the company is also waiving fees for credit and debit card payments.

Customers are encouraged to pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later. Customers can call Duke Energy to discuss their account or available options.