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Duke Energy seeks to pass along merger savings

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Duke Energy is asking North Carolina and South Carolina regulators for permission to give customers the first of the savings they've been promised from the merger with Progress Energy.

Duke Energy filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission and Public Service Commission of South Carolina on Wednesday to reduce electricity rates by almost $90 million. The company has promised $650 million in merger-related savings over five years.

The average residential customer could save between 80 cents and 92 cents a month beginning in September. The savings depend on the state and whether the power is supplied by the Duke Energy or Progress Energy operating divisions.

The savings may be short-lived. Both divisions plan to seek rate increases to recover costs of investments in power generation and transmission.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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