Panel hears Progress Energy case for rate increase

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The state Utilities Commission is hearing from Progress Energy on the reasons it needs to raise residential electricity rates by 11.5 percent this year.

The Raleigh-based company filed a petition in June with the North Carolina Utilities Commission seeking to raise rates by about $424 million to catch up on higher fuel costs. The company agreed earlier this month to spread out the increase over three years.

The Utilities Commission was hearing Progress Energy's arguments on Tuesday. If it approves the proposed settlement, Progress Energy would raise the monthly bill for a typical household from about $97 to about $108 starting in December.

Rates would probably go up again in December 2009.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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