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GASTONIA, NC (AP) — Duke Energy has told North Carolina utility regulators that it will ask for another rate increase soon.

The Gaston Gazette reported that Duke Energy late last week filed notice with the North Carolina Utilities Commission that it will file for another rate increase early next month.

The request comes less than a year after regulators approved a 7 percent increase for Duke.

Duke representatives have said for months the company plans to apply for an increase to pay for maintenance and upgrades to its systems.

Attorney General Roy Cooper has been fighting the increase that was approved last January. The North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments on the challenge in November. Duke had originally requested a 17 percent increase but agreed to the 7.2 percent figure early last year.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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