• Duke Energy customers to see rate hikes


    ORLANDO, Fla. - State regulators approved plans by several power companies to make you pay more for the power you use.

    Duke Energy says the increase is set to begin in January and will add nearly $10 to the monthly bill.

    According to state law, power companies can ask customers to cover extra expenses.

    Just about every light fixture in Barbara Wright's home has an energy-efficient bulb. She said every little bit helps because she works from home.

    "I have to keep it on because I draw and I can't draw in the dark," Wright said.

    Between the television, lamps, appliances and the garbage disposal, families spend about $116 a month to keep everything running.

    With the new rates, running all these things will costs $9.25 more a month.

    Add that up for an entire year and it's almost an extra month's electrical bill for homeowners.

    The extra money will pay for increased fuel costs, a future nuclear power plant and power Duke Energy has to buy from other suppliers to keep up with demand.

    According to numbers Eyewitness News received from the Public Service Commission, Duke Energy customers have had just as many increases as decreases since 2009, paying now just as much as they were in 2009.

    For Wright, an extra $10 a month isn't easy to come by in her line of work.

    "Every penny really counts," Wright said.

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    Duke Energy customers to see rate hikes