Duke Wants New Fee on Customers Who Opt Out

Smokestacks at Duke Energy's Miami Fort Plant in North Bend, Ohio

In a move almost as confusing as its monthly bills, Duke Energy has proposed a 10-year rate plan that would impose a new “capacity” fee on both its own customers and those who have switched to other electricity providers.

While the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) evaluates the proposal, Cincinnati residents are considering an unrelated ballot measure that would enable them, as a group, to take their business away from Duke and give it to a lower bidder.

Under Duke’s proposal, its customers would now find their energy charges “unbundled” into two components: The cost of generating energy, which only they would pay for; and also Duke’s more hypothetical “capacity” to generate energy, which everyone on the local grid would subsidize through the proposed fee.

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