NORTH CAROLINA -- Did you know your energy bills might go up because of the damages caused by Hurricane Matthew?
You might not notice anything different right away, maybe not even this year.
But there is a price to pay for the storm damage statewide.
Duke Energy has never directly raised their rates because of a storm.
But it costs a lot of money for every downed power line or transformer busted during big storms like Hurricane Matthew.
Jimmy Flythe with Duke Energy says those costs are built into the calculations for customers’ energy rates.
"At some point in the future,that will get reflected in the rates,” said Flythe. “That equipment had to be changed and updated maybe existing equipment had to be retired because of the normal depreciated value. Those kinds of things will eventually find their way into the rates.”
So the question is, how much will your bill go up and when will that happen?
Flythe says it's way too early to answer those questions.
At the time of this report, there are still more than 100,000 customers without power in North Carolina.
Flythe says in some places, the flooding is too high for crews to be able to do their jobs.
Right now, Flythe says the main priority for Duke Energy is getting everyone's lights back on.
“You can have thousands of crews but only a crew of two or four can work on replacing a power pole so once these flood waters recede, we will get crews on all of these situations and we just ask for their patience,” said Flythe. “We are doing all we can. We are working as hard and as fast as we can to get the power restored."
Duke Energy has over 9,000 crews working in the Carolinas right now.
Flythe says they hope to have everyone's power back on by Sunday.
After crews finish restoring power, Duke Energy officials will meet with the NC Utility Commission to calculate how much the storm damage will cost the customers.
Again, Duke Energy has never raised their rates specifically because of a storm.
Flythe says the cost of the damages from a storm gets absorbed into the total cost of doing business.
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