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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Duke Energy has won approval from a state agency for a rate increase for its North Carolina customers.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission announced the 7.2 percent rate increase approval on Friday. The Charlotte-based utility said a typical bill for a residential customer will increase by about $7 per month based on 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

Duke Energy says it needs the additional revenue for construction projects and to meet environmental laws. The new electric rates will go into effect in early February. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement issued Friday night that his office intends to review the commission’s decision and look at available options.

On Wednesday, the South Carolina Public Service Commission accepted the utility’s request for a 6 percent increase in overall rates.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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