Locals react to potential Duke Energy rate increases

Duke Energy announced they want to raise rates in order to make improvements.It would be a 15 percent increase over two years. Some in the Wabash Valley are not happy with potentially higher bills.

Posted: Jul 3, 2019 6:37 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - An energy rate increase could mean you'll be paying more in the near future.

On Monday, Duke Energy announced they want to raise rates in order to make improvements.

It's a 15 percent rate increase.

Starting at 13 percent in 2020, and 2 percent the following year.

Those in the Wabash Valley are not happy about their bills potentially being higher.

Robert and Schelia Romanelly are husband and wife.

They split the bills in their household, and paying even more money isn't something they'd like.

"It's just another way for them to get the extra money, and really putting a crimp on the people like me that's retired and has a fixed income, it just makes it that much harder," said Robert Romanelly.

The Romanelly's said they already work hard to budget all of their expenses and this can take a toll on families.

"Of course these unexpected things, you know it's hard to plan for those, but the main thing is budgeting, but if you were on a fixed income or you just didn't have the extra money, it's just going to be very difficult," said Schelia Romanelly.

Those at Duke Energy don't want to make things difficult for customers.

A spokesperson for the company said this could help everyone in the long run.

"These are investments for core utility service. We're also updating our electric grid to improve reliability, help avoid power outages and speed up service restoration when outages do occur," said Angeline Protogere, Duke Energy Spokesperson.

Schelia Romanelly said she hopes the community shares their concerns when it comes to another utility increase

"We need more people to voice opinions. The more the better. So, people need to really come out, show their support, ask questions. Why the increase? Is it needed,? said Schelia Romanelly.

As far as money goes, for the average residential home, Duke said this would be a $23 increase per month.

Right now, this has not been approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

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