Duke Energy plans to charge residential customers more in order to establish new renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, across North Carolina.

Spokesperson for Duke Energy, Lisa Parrish, explains the changes and how much more customers may be paying.

“Right now, the average residential customer for Duke Energy Carolina is using about 1000 kilowatt hours of electricity, pays about 4 cents a month to comply with the new renewable energy portfolio standards,” says Parrish. “The new writer asks them to pay 39 cents, so that is an increase of 35 cents. Duke Energy progress customers using 1000 kilowatt hours, they are currently paying 20 cents, and that changes to 83 cents.”

She says that these new charges must be made in order to comply with new North Carolina laws that dictate energy costs and where they must be placed for customers.

“Think about it like this: you divide the pie, the renewable energy pie, into three pieces. The sizes of those pieces are dictated by the North Carolina energy law,” says Parrish. “So, more than half the pie, about 59%, is paid for by residential customers, 36% is paid for by commercial customers, and about 5% is paid for by industrial customers. Each of these slices is in proportion to the cost caps set by the North Carolina energy law. The legislation tells us what we can charge these customer classes, and tells us they must be in proportion to the cost.”

Awaiting permission from the Utilities Commission, these new charges are set to go into effect in December of this year.