Power you can rely on.
Duke Energy is committed to delivering clean, reliable, affordable power today and for years to come.
Many factors – including fuel costs, environmental regulations, infrastructure improvements and changing energy demand – affect the cost of producing electricity, and, in turn, the price you pay.
At Duke Energy, we continuously balance these factors to ensure reliable electricity, cleaner air and the best price possible for our customers. It’s all part of our commitment to the more than 1.6 million families and businesses that depend on us every day.
We also work hard to balance the needs and requirements of all our stakeholders. By keeping them in balance, we are able to meet our fundamental commitment to deliver clean, reliable, affordable power and plan for a secure energy future.
Electric rates are set by the state
Duke Energy is a regulated public utility. Therefore, unlike other businesses, we do not set the prices our customers pay. Instead, our rates must be reviewed and approved by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC).
How rates are set
As a regulated utility, Duke Energy is allowed to recover the costs necessary to ensure reliable power and the opportunity to earn a reasonable rate of return. That return is used to fund new infrastructure improvements and to compensate our shareholders and bondholders for their investments in the company.
Duke Energy goes through a detailed public process when requesting a change in our prices. Here’s how the process works.
Duke Energy Rates & Tariffs
Documents containing Duke Energy's retail rate schedules, retail tariffs and wholesale transmission rates can be found under the rates and tariffs section on duke-energy.com. View the link below for direct access to the information.
Your utility bill includes multiple parts
Your electric bill is actually made up of several cost components, each of which is subject to review and approval by the state’s utility commission. Click the bill breakdown (below) to see a detailed breakdown of the various costs using the current 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential bill.
Investing for today and tomorrow
Duke Energy is committed to delivering clean, reliable, affordable power to the more than 1.5 million customers who depend on us each day. To achieve that, we invest millions of dollars and countless hours each year in the planning, building and operating of our complex system.
Your rates are an important part of how we fund these essential expenses and repay the shareholders and bondholders who help make such large investments possible
Click on the graphic to learn more.
To make every dollar count, we work to be as efficient and prudent as possible, and to balance affordability in the present with investments for the future. All so that we can continue to deliver clean, reliable, affordable power today and for years to come.
How we're working to keep rates affordable
Controlling fuel costs: The largest single component of your bill is fuel costs. Duke Energy makes no profit on this portion of your bill since it is directly tied to the cost of fuel in today's marketplace. Although we can't control the global factors that affect these costs, we can and do control how efficiently we operate our power plants and delivery systems to use the least amount of fuel possible.
Streamlining our systems: We carefully monitor and control our processes and staffing so we can continue to provide industry-leading service and reliability as cost efficiently as possible.
Investing today for your future
To meet the challenges of rising fuel costs, concerns about global warming and growing energy demand, we must make investments in our electricity system. The benefits are real – continued reliability, cleaner air, less dependence on foreign fuel, better long-term price stability – but so are the costs.
Duke Energy is constantly working to maintain and improve our 14 Florida power plants and our complex network of nearly 50,000 miles of power lines. Our investments over the past 25 years have improved customer service and reliability, reduced the environmental impacts of providing electricity, and created better, more efficient generating sources. During this time, we were able to keep base rates relatively flat. Our efforts to provide clean, reliable, affordable power have allowed Duke Energy to succeed in delivering operational, financial and performance achievements benefitting our more than 1.6 million customers and the state of Florida. Learn more.
We must continually plan for investments in new infrastructure and technologies to make certain we continue to meet your electricity needs in the future. Planning for needed energy sources and other infrastructure is part of an ongoing cycle that ensures facilities will be in place when they’re needed. Because there is no way to build power plants, roads, schools and other major regional and state projects overnight, these projects must be started years in advance to avoid overcrowding in the classroom, logjam on the highways or extended outages on the electricity grid.
Cleaner, more reliable power for our state
By investing in the state’s electricity system we support Florida public policy to reduce emissions by installing clean-air controls on our coal plants, switching to cleaner fuel sources such as natural gas, and increasing the capacity of carbon-free energy at our Crystal River Nuclear Plant. We also fund improvements to our transmission and distribution system that increase reliability and help prevent storm-related outages.
Some recent projects that are helping bring cleaner, more reliable power to our area include:
Anclote Power Plant: Fuel conversion will reduce emissions and lower fuel costs
Crystal River: Upgrading efficiency and reliability
Bartow Plant: Lowering emissions and fuel costs
Transmission and distribution upgrades: Improving reliability
In addition, we have programs to help our commercial and industrial customers save energy. Learn more about our large-scale facility energy-efficiency programs here.
Myth: Duke Energy is guaranteed a 10.5 percent return on equity (ROE).
Fact: It is important to clarify that Duke Energ's rate of return – as approved by the Florida Public Service Commission – is not a guaranteed return, but rather an allowed return. The utility's rates are set at a level that provides the potential to earn 10.5 percent.
Our customers benefit when our shareholders are allowed to earn a fair return on their investment in our company. Without providing the opportunity for a fair return to our shareholders, the cost of building needed infrastructure would get more expensive for our customers.
Myth: Duke Energy's 10.5 percent ROE is too high in these economic times.
Fact: Electric utilities are among the most capital-intensive industries in the world. Large investments in plants, transmission and distribution lines and other infrastructure require frequent access to capital. Investors provide the capital DukeEnergy uses to build new plants and other infrastructure. Duke Energy is an investor-owned utility, meaning it is owned by shareholders. But the company is regulated at the state and federal levels. The company has an exclusive right to provide electricity in its service area. In return, Duke Energy has a state-mandated responsibility to provide reliable electric service to all consumers in that franchise area. Unlike most businesses, Duke Energy cannot choose its customers or refuse service to a customer.
As a result, utilities must provide reasonable returns to remain appealing to the investment community and attract capital. Investors are the company's primary source of the capital needed to maintain and expand facilities to serve customers.
Progress Energy competes for capital with other electric utilities and companies in other industries with much higher ROEs. The PSC has determined that 10.5 percent is an appropriate return for a company required to invest continuously in the state's energy infrastructure.
Myth: An electric utility's rate of return should be more in line with a certificate of deposit (CD).
Fact: Comparing the return a utility receives on its equity to a CD is an unfair comparison. CD investments are essentially risk-free; therefore, the reward – or return – is also lower. A CD provides a fixed guaranteed return on capital, plus a contractually agreed (and government-backed) return of capital on a specific date. CDs are primarily for capital preservation; banks just reward investors with a small return to use their money.
An investment in the stock of a utility company involves a greater risk. The value of the stock could go up or down based on any number of factors, including issues outside the company's control. That is why there is the need for an attractive potential return to compensate an investor for such significant risk of capital loss. Stocks are an aggressive form of investing. They require much higher returns than CDs to reward investors for the use of their money. To attract and retain shareholders willing to invest in a utility stock, the company must offer the opportunity for greater reward. Not a guarantee, but the opportunity.
Myth: Duke Energy rate increases benefit only the company, not the customer.
Fact: Even in difficult times, investments are necessary to keep our electricity system reliable. These investments come with real costs but also provide real customer benefits. Benefits include continued reliability and excellent customer service, cleaner air and lower fuel costs.
For example, through proper preventive maintenance and ongoing system improvements, we decrease the likelihood of outages and shorten restoration times after storms.
Customers also benefit from our plant improvements. Recently, we switched our Bartow Plant from oil to cleaner, more cost-efficient natural gas. Based on current estimates, customers were estimated to save $83 million in fuel costs in 2010 alone from this one project.
Myth: Florida is the Sunshine State but Duke Energy isn't focused on renewable energy.
Fact: Renewable energy, including solar, is a key part of Duke Energy balanced solution strategy to meeting its customers' evolving energy needs. In fact, Duke Energy has the most renewable energy capacity of any investor-owned utility in Florida. Learn more about our company's SunSense programs, including utility-scale generation projects and incentives for customers who invest in solar energy for their homes. For more information on our renewable and alternative energy efforts, visit our Renewables & Customer-Generation page.