Duke Energy Carolinas, a
Duke Energy Corporation
) unit, has filed for an electric rate-hike request to the North
Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). The rate hikes will enable
the company to recoup infrastructural investment made under its
Save-a-Watt program and to recover costs incurred for other
proposed energy efficiency programs.
The new rates, if approved by the NCUC, will increase the average
monthly bill of a residential customer using 1,000
kilowatts-hours (kWh) of power in a month by 2.8% to $105.58.
Similarly, average monthly bill of a non-residential customer
will increase by .0387 cents per kWh. The new rate will be
applicable for Duke Energy Carolinas' customers in North Carolina
and will become effective from Jan 1, 2014.
Duke Energy Carolinas rolled out an energy efficiency plan called
Save-a-Watt program in 2007 and denoted electricity as "fifth
fuel" with advanced nuclear, clean coal, natural gas and
renewable energy. The main objective of this plan is to propose
an innovative approach to manage growing electricity demand using
new ways to save watts.
Utility providers frequently invest in infrastructural
development for execution of new technologies related to
electricity generation, transmission and distribution. All these
ensure uninterrupted, smooth and hassle-free power supply to the
Over the last couple of years, Duke Energy has invested a
substantial amount to replace its old-fashioned equipments and
improve existing infrastructure. This is expected to improve
efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and thereby, lower operating
costs for the company.
The regulated utilities recover their invested funds through rate
filing. A few days ago, another unit of Duke Energy, Progress
Energy Carolinas received regulatory nod from North Carolina
Public Staff to increase its base rates.
Duke Energy is a well managed and high-quality energy provider in
high-growth areas. We believe improvement in future earnings of
the company will come from its high quality electric services,
continued investments in infrastructure and strong customer
Duke Energy Corporation currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other stocks worth considering from the industry are
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P.
Pike Electric Corporation
Otter Tail Corporation
); all with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy Corporation is a diversified
energy company with a portfolio of domestic and international,
natural gas and electric, regulated and unregulated businesses,
which supply, deliver, and process energy for customers in North
America and selected international markets.
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