CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina regulators have approved a rate increase of 4.5 percent for Duke Energy.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the increase on Tuesday.
The rate hike increases to an overall average of 5.1 percent after two years.Regulators say the typical residential electric bill would go up about $7.60 a month in 2015, to a monthly average of $110.
Duke Carolinas serves nearly 2 million customers in North Carolina.
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Duke president Paul Newton says the higher rates are needed for the company to modernize its equipment to meet environmental regulations.
Some of the money will be used to retire and replace old plants That includes a new coal-powered unit near Cliffside and a natural gas fueled plant in Eden.
The North Carolina Attorney General's Office could appeal the increase.