Duke Energy files for full cost of coal ash cleanup

RALEIGH, N.C. — Duke Energy, the country’s largest electric company, will fight for a rate hike with regulators to charge consumers the full cost of cleaning up coal ash pits filled with toxic metals.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission opens hearings Monday into whether Duke Energy Corp. will be allowed to charge consumers nearly $200 million a year for the cleanup.

The company and consumer advocates reached a tentative deal last week that would cut the requested rate increase of almost 15 percent.

The rate increase would affect about 1.3 million customers of the company’s eastern North Carolina subsidiary.