Duke Energy / Energy / Fixed Rate Hikes

Duke Energy wants to more than triple the fixed charges on your bill

An electricity rate hike proposed by Duke Energy Ohio will force residential customers in the Cincinnati area to pay more than $200 more a year in fixed fees – before you even flip on a light switch. Duke’s proposal would raise the “customer charge” portion of residents’ bills – from $6 to $22.77 a month, a 280 percent increase.

That’s unfair to those who use less energy, and especially hard for people with low incomes. It discourages energy efficiency
and home solar. For these reasons, utility regulators around the country have rejected similar rate hikes. Here in Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) held off on a fixed rate hike proposal by Duke competitor AEP Ohio. Now it’s Duke’s turn.

How do fixed charges harm consumers?

There are two kinds of charges on your electric bill: a usage charge based on the amount of electricity you use, and a fixed “customer” charge that you pay before the meter starts running. It’s this fixed charge that Duke Energy Ohio wants to more than triple. Here’s what an increase would do:

▪ Hit lower energy users and lower income residents hardest. If you don’t use a lot of energy, then a big increase in the fixed charge is a higher percentage hike on your bill than it is on a heavy energy user’s bill. This typically means that fixed fee increases hurt most those least able to pay.

▪ Undermine your ability to control your bill or recoup energy-saving investments. When you must pay more no matter your energy use, it’s harder to control your energy bill. It’s also harder to pay off investments that increase energy efficiency, such as efficient appliances, better insulation, or home solar.

Tell PUCO how paying another $201 to Duke will affect you at these hearings:

Monday, October 30, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Butler Technology and Career Development Schools
3603 HamiltonMiddletown Road, Hamilton

Thursday, November 2, 2017
12:30 p.m.
Cincinnati City Hall,Council Chambers
801 Plum Street, Cincinnati

For more information, please contact:
Faith in Public Life – Ohio: Rev. Dan Clark, 614-648-3663
Ohio Citizen Action: Rachael Belz, 513-602-4115
NRDC: Samantha Williams, 415-533-2060
Consumers Union: Shannon Baker-Branstetter, 202-462-6262