CHARLOTTE N.C. -- Duke Energy wants to raise power bill rates. According to the Charlotte Observer, Duke Energy will petition the Utilities Commission for a rate hike.

The hike would affect about 3.3 million customers in North Carolina. If the hike is approved, it could possibly take effect by 2021. The rate hike would be used to cover $5.2 billion in coal ash cleanup.

Duke Energy argues the costs aren't for the spill itself, but from the state mandate to close all of it's ash basins. The Utilities Commission allows companies to raise rates to cover items like new power plants and operating expenses. This means Duke Energy will have to prove these costs would fall under those categories.

In 2014, The then North Carolina Attorney General, Roy Cooper told the Charlotte observer "Duke Energy should clean up the coal ash at it's own expense and we will fight for consumers if the company tries to charge them."

2 Wants To Know reached out to Cooper to see what he would do, now that he's the governor, but we are still waiting to hear back. 2 Wants To Know also called the new Attorney General Josh Stein to see check on his plans.

His office sent a statement:

"My job as North Carolina's Attorney General is to look out for the ratepayer. I am closely reviewing this filing."