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Duquesne Light rate increase would hike residential bills by nearly 9 percent

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Friday, April 13, 2018, 7:24 p.m.

Duquesne Light is asking state regulators to approve a rate increase that would hike the average residential customer's bill by nearly 9 percent.

If approved, the total bill for an average residential customer using 600 kilowatt hours a month would increase by $8.65, from $98.15 to $106.80, according to a notice to customers.

The increase would take effect Jan. 1, 2019, Duquesne Light spokesman Jerry Lucci said.

The company is asking the state Public Utility Commission to approval an overall $133.8 million per year increase in electric distribution service rates. The commission can grant all, some or none of the request, or could reduce existing rates.

The increase would be less for commercial and industrial customers, which would see increases of nearly 3 percent and about 2.3 percent, respectively.

In a news release, Duquesne Light says the increase will allow it to upgrade existing equipment and install new distribution technologies across Allegheny and Beaver counties.

The company has nearly 600,000 customers.

“As we look to the future, we need to consider the energy infrastructure that will be required to efficiently and effectively provide a reliable source of electricity to our progressive and evolving region,” Duquesne Light President and CEO Rich Riazzi said.

The company says that from 2013 to 2017, it invested nearly $1 billion in infrastructure and technology upgrades to its distribution system. It plans to spend about $265 million in 2018 alone.

“We are dedicated to working with our regulators to determine a reasonable rate that enables us to continue improving the durability of the system for our customers,” said David Fisfis, vice president of rates and regulatory affairs.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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