CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) today authorized an increase in electric rates for Duke Energy Carolinas' North Carolina customers. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130322/CL81938LOGO ) The revenue increase was initially agreed upon in a settlement between Duke Energy Carolinas and the North Carolina Public Staff, which represents consumers. Electric rates will increase by $205 million, or an average of 4.5 percent, for the first two years of the increase. Rates will increase by an additional $30 million, or 0.6 percent thereafter. The total increase in rates after September 2015 will be $235 million, or an average increase of 5.1 percent for all customers. After September 2015, the bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month will increase to $110.32 from the current $102.72. That includes an increase in the basic customer charge to $12.19 per month from the current $9.90. The commission approved the settlement with one modification to rate design. The commission ordered the company to continue to further recombine a specific rate between industrial and commercial customers. The company continues to review the order. Even with the approved increase, the company's rates remain below the national average. "We're pleased the N.C. Utilities Commission has approved our revenue request," said Paul Newton, Duke Energy state president – North Carolina. "The decision reflects a balance between the needs of our company and those of our customers." "This increase is critical to the company's modernization plan to address increasingly stringent environmental regulations, and also to retire and replace aging power plants," said Newton. "Today's order allows us to keep the rate increase as low as we reasonably can while still recovering these investment costs."