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NC panel hears views on Duke Energy rate increase

WILMINGTON, NC (AP) — North Carolina regulators are starting a series of hearings into a request by Duke Energy Carolinas to raise electricity bills by almost 10 percent more.

The North Carolina Utility Commission has scheduled hearings across the state beginning on Tuesday in Wilmington. The regulatory panel meets again Wednesday evening in Rockingham. The hearings continue through mid-March as regulators get information from the electricity company’s nearly 2 million North Carolina customers.

Duke Energy Carolinas wants to increase electric rates by an average of 9.7 percent, an amount estimated to raise another $450 million. The company says it needs the rate increase needed to recoup money it has already invested in new cleaner, more efficient power plants.

Duke Energy won a 7.2 percent increase last year, down from its 17 percent request.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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