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Duke Energy Wants Power Rate Increase To Pay For Upgrades

Utility submits plan to regulators
Duke Energy wants to upgrade its system and says it needs to raise electricity rates to do so.
The state's largest electric utility submitted a plan to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a $1.9 million upgrade to its electric grid.  It would require a rate increase, "an average rate increase of all our customer classes of about one-percent per year between 2016 and 2022," said Lew Middleton with Duke Energy in Indiana. 
Most of that seven-year period would be needed for what Middleton described as a massive upgrade, "upgrading the power lines, the power utility poles, and upgrading equipment at our substations."  He said much of Duke's grid that serves 800,000 customers in Indiana is old and dated technology, and that the upgrade would allow Duke to communicate with customers more quickly.  He says it would also make the utility's grid more reliable and less susceptible to power outages.
The Regulatory Commission will consider the plan at a future hearing.
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