FLORENCE, S.C. (May 6, 2011) – Reflecting the rising cost of fuels used to generate electricity, Progress Energy Carolinas filed a request Thursday for an increase in the fuel rate charged to its South Carolina customers. The request comes after two straight years of fuel-cost decreases.
If approved, the request will result in an increased monthly fuel-charge of $3.71 for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Meanwhile, the company also filed this week for an increase in the portion of customer bills used to pay for energy-efficiency and demand-side management programs. That increase, an additional $1.25 per month for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours, reflects an increased number of efficiency programs and measures made available to South Carolina customers in the last year.
The net impact of the two changes is an increase of $4.96 per month on a residential 1,000-kWh bill.
For the residential customer using 1,000 kWh, the total monthly bill will increase to $104.11 from the current $99.15, if the request is approved by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC). The new rate is scheduled to take effect July 1.
After two years of decreases, the costs of coal and other fuels have increased in the last year. Progress Energy Carolinas continues to work to mitigate cost increases by negotiating the lowest possible cost for fuels on behalf of customers. If approved as requested, the average increase would be about 5 percent for residential customers using 1,000 kWh, 4.6 percent for commercial customers and about 6 percent for industrial customers.
The fuel portion of the company’s rates is adjusted annually by the PSC to reflect the actual cost of fuel the utility uses to produce electricity to meet customer demand. By law, Progress Energy does not make a profit from the fuel charge. The company also files annually to recover the costs of implementing programs designed to help reduce energy consumption and save customers money on their energy bills.
Progress Energy has not sought an increase in the other major component of rates, the base rate, since 1988.
Progress Energy maintains a diverse mix of power plant resources – including nuclear, coal, natural gas, oil, hydroelectric energy and renewable energy, including solar and biofuels – to maintain a reliable supply of electricity for the utility’s customers while keeping fuel expenses as low as possible.
“We’re working every day to increase efficiency in our operations, while continuing to meet our customers’ and regulators’ expectations for reliable and environmentally sound service,” said Melody Birmingham-Byrd, vice president of Progress Energy Carolina’s Southern Region, which includes all of the company’s South Carolina service area. “Our customers and regulators expect nothing less, and we are committed to doing all we can to mitigate the impact of rising prices on the households and businesses that depend on us.”
Progress Energy encourages customers to learn all they can about using energy wisely – to save energy and money. Customers can save up to 20 percent on their energy costs by making simple changes at home. Cleaning air filters, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact-fluorescent bulbs, adjusting the thermostat and sealing windows and doors can result in noticeable savings. For more energy-efficiency tips, visit www.savethewatts.com. Customers also can learn about energy-efficiency programs and incentives at www.progress-energy.com.
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at www.progress-energy.com.
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Contact: Progress Energy 24-Hour Media Line - 1.919.546.6189