INDIANAPOLIS — Duke Energy has submitted a request to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a 16% increase in what it charges customers.
Four times a year, utility companies across the state talk to the IURC about the prices they feel companies should be paying.
"Duke Energy is seeing the highest sustained prices for fuel that we have witnessed in a decade, " said Angeline Protogere with Duke Energy Indiana.
Since the company says it is seeing a large increase in its fuel costs, that has led it to ask for a rate increase. But Duke says the increase won’t be permanent.
"A large part of a customer’s electric bill is related to fuel,” said Protogere. “It can be as much as 30% of a bill. So, when you have volatile markets, it can have a big impact on a customer’s bill."
If approved, this 16% rate increase would likely go into effect starting in July and last until September. As for whether customers will see relief as we head into fall, likely not.
"Unfortunately, we are seeing continued volatility in the market and expect the higher prices to continue throughout the year," said Protogere.
Duke Energy says it doesn't make a profit off fuel costs and the increase is due to higher costs of power. The company does turn a profit, but Duke says that profit is a fixed rate determined by the IURC.
WRTV has reached out to the IURC but did not receive answers about how much that profit is.
Duke Energy says if customers are having a hard time paying their bills, the company has resources available.
"We urge customers to contact us if they are struggling to pay their bills and we can look at options for them such as a flexible payment plan,” said Protogere. “We also have a financial assistance program called 'Share the Light.'”
The IURC will decide next month on whether to approve Duke energy's rate increase request.
WRTV also reached out to other power companies to see if they plan to request higher rates but did not hear back.
Duke Energy says regardless of where your electricity comes from, you will more than likely see an increase in your bill this summer.
For details on Duke Energy’s assistance programs, click here.