Op-Ed: Duke wants to help as energy prices surge

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The following op-ed is written by Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.

The impacts of global events, high demand, and labor shortages are affecting people across the world. We feel it, too. Costs are increasing from the grocery store to the gas pump and, yes, on your energy bill. 

Duke Energy is committed to providing safe, reliable energy for the Greater Cincinnati region, where our customers depend on us every day to power their homes and businesses. And we share our customers’ concerns about the current state of rising prices in all aspects of their daily lives. 

For almost two centuries, Duke Energy and its predecessors have been part of this region. We have supported our communities through storms, civil unrest, COVID-19 and workforce shortages, and we will assist our customers through this challenge as well. 

Why are energy bills increasing?

Fallout from global events, abnormal weather conditions, and constraints in production and transportation of natural gas and other fuels continue to drive historically high energy prices. In fact, U.S. natural gas prices have surged to the highest level in more than 13 years and have already doubled this year.

Many of our customers use less natural gas during the summer months, which helps to lessen the impact of these price spikes. But natural gas also fuels the production of electricity, year-round, and higher natural gas prices mean higher electric bills.

Volatile market prices will result in higher-than-normal energy bills this summer, with some residential customers in Kentucky seeing an increase of 20 percent. In Ohio, residential electric customers taking generation service from Duke Energy Ohio will see an approximate 8 percent increase in their overall electric bill. Soaring summer temperatures may drive utility bills even higher. 

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Our priority is to purchase fuel at the best possible price and secure it in the most cost-effective manner for our customers. Fuel costs are passed directly to our customers with no markup, meaning customers pay what we pay, and Duke Energy does not profit from the increasing cost of fuel.

While we can’t hide from rising summer temperatures, there are some things we can do to use less energy. And using less energy helps to lower energy bills. Visit Duke-Energy.com/SummerBill to find helpful programs, tips, tools and financial assistance.

There are also resources for our neighbors who are disproportionately affected by rising energy costs and rising temperatures. We are here, ready to assist our customers, and encourage them to contact us at 800-544-6900. Information is also available at www.duke-energy.com/SpecialAssistance.

Several equally committed partners, from community action agencies to the Southwest Ohio Council on Aging to the United Way, are also poised to help. We are grateful for these and so many other organizations that continue to amplify our messages and help ease some of the pressures our customers are facing. 

I’m proud to call Cincinnati home and to lead the 2,300 men and women who work tirelessly – everyday – to power the lives of our customers and the vitality of our communities. Together, along with our community partners, you have our unwavering commitment to offer solutions and support through this current challenge. 

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