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Electricity costs up for some, down for others

Electric bills increasing due to market prices
Duke Energy Rate Increase.png
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 09:26:06-04

CINCINNATI — Some people in the Tri-State will likely see their electric bills go up this month but others could see a decrease.

Costs are rising at investor-owned utilities, like Duke Energy, due to an annual update to electric bills based on market fuel prices.

Duke Energy Ohio’s ‘Price to Compare’ rate will increase about 16% this month.

A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see an increase of $8.76 on their bill, according to a Duke Energy spokesperson. This is just an average and could be less or more depending on how much electricity a customer uses.

Duke Energy does not control the cost of market fuel prices, nor does the company make a profit on them. The company collects from customers what it is charged. Right now, electricity prices are up across the country.

“Natural gas is one of the primary sources that's used to generate electricity,” said Dr. Michael Jones, an associate professor of economics at the University of Cincinnati.

“We’re seeing a lot of disruption in that market, particularly with the war in Ukraine. We’re seeing a lot of increased demand just for energy overall and so we have these two competing forces that are not going to resolve anytime in the near future. I expect that consumers are going to have to be paying quite a bit more for electricity for at least the summer and probably into the fall.”

Others in Cincinnati might see their electric bill go down. That is, if they’re part of the city’s electric aggregation program. The program provides 100% green energy.

Residents who began participating in the program before May 1 should see costs decrease by 6% over the next year, resulting in a total savings of $153 per residential account, according to a memo from the city manager’s office.

Eligible residents not currently participating in the aggregation program may join by contacting Dynegy Energy Services, according to the memo.

Regardless of your provider, Duke recommends simple ways to cut down on usage during summer months to save money.

Things you can do to save money now:

  • Change air filters regularly, as dirty filters can make HVAC systems work harder.
  • Set thermostats at the highest comfortable setting during hot months
  • Close blinds and curtains to keep the sun out
  • Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms to supplement air conditioning
  • Turn off unnecessary lights

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