The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has approved Duke Energy Progress' request to increase electricity rates to recover its costs incurred to upgrade electrical infrastructure.

Duke Energy Progress provides electricity and related services to about 1.5 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, US.

The company will use the approved rate increase to recover the investments it made to modernize its power plants to produce electricity and update the electric system and ensure safe and reliable service for customers every day.

Under the terms of NCUC approval, the total rate increase will be implemented over two years.

During the first year, retail customers will be charged an increase of 4.5% from 1 June 2013 and another hike of 1% will be added in the second year starting from 1 June 2014.

The residential customers of the utility will see an increase of 6.5% in 2013, which will be further increased to 7.5% in 2014.

The small general service customers will see the bills increase by 4.2% in 2013 and 5.1% in 2014, while the medium general service customers will get hiked bills with 3.5% increase in 2013 and 4.5% in 2014.

The large general service customers see 2.7% increase in 2013 and 3.6% in 2014.