FLORENCE, S.C. (May 9, 2012) - Progress Energy
Carolinas today filed a request to lower the fuel rate
charged to its South Carolina customers. Coupled with a
proposed slight increase in the portion of rates that
pays for energy-efficiency programs, the net impact of
the changes would bring a reduction of 2-5 percent for
If approved by the Public Service Commission of South
Carolina, the request will result in a decreased monthly
fuel charge of $3.53 for a residential customer using
1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
The proposed reduction reflects a decrease in the cost of
fuels used to generate electricity for the company's
175,000 customers in South Carolina. In light of
increased domestic U.S. production of natural gas, the
price of that fuel has dropped significantly in the last
year. Progress Energy Carolinas has used more natural gas
and less coal to generate electricity, resulting in lower
overall costs. Progress Energy Carolinas continues to
work to mitigate cost increases by negotiating the lowest
possible cost for fuels on behalf of 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.
In March, the company filed for an increase in the
portion of customer bills used to pay for
energy-efficiency and demand-side management programs.
That increase, an additional $1.37 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
The net impact of the two changes is a decrease of $2.16
per month on a residential 1,000-kWh bill. For the
residential customer using 1,000 kWh, the total monthly
bill will decrease to $101.69 from the current $103.85,
if the request is approved by the PSC. The changes are
scheduled to take effect July 1.
If both requests are approved as requested, the average
decrease would be about 2.1 percent for residential
customers using 1,000 kWh, 3.2 percent for commercial
customers and about 5.3 percent for industrial customers.
The other main component of retail rates, the base rate,
has not increased since 1988. Progress Energy Carolinas
has announced plans to seek a base rate increase in 2013
to pay for significant fleet modernization under way.
Among other initiatives, the company is retiring older,
less efficient coal-fired plants and replacing them with
cleaner-burning natural gas-fueled plants to meet
customer needs reliably into the future.
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 are working hard to drive efficiency and hold down
costs for our customers," said Melody
Birmingham-Byrd, vice president of Progress Energy
Carolina's Southern Region, which includes all of the
company's South Carolina service area. "The costs of
modernizing the power system are significant, but we will
continue to do all we can to minimize the impact of
future increases by managing the costs we can control. We
know our customers depend on us to deliver reliable,
affordable and environmentally sound energy."
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
23,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately
$9 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 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.www.progress-energy.com.