Duke Energy Ohio says residential power bills will go down about 3.6% starting June 1.
Homeowners using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month of electricity and purchasing it from Duke can expect about a $4.24 decrease from May on their June bills. The average monthly bill is projected at $114 in Ohio.
"The driver for this upcoming reduction is the price Duke Energy Ohio pays to acquire electricity for its customers who have chosen not to switch to a third-party energy company for their electricity supply," the company says in a statement. "Duke Energy Ohio uses a competitive auction process to secure electricity for these customers. As a whole, recent winning bids have been lower than past bids – leading to lower charges for the electric supply portion of monthly power bills."
Spokesman Lee Freedman says the reduction isn't related to the COVID-19 pandemic and it's unclear how that could affect prices in the future. The auction where Duke secured the lower prices took place several months ago, Freedman notes.
Electricity usage typically increases in the summer when air conditioning units get a workout, so prices might increase with usage, but on average, Freedman says people can expect to save about $50 per year.
Rates for Duke's customers in Northern Kentucky increased at the beginning of May. A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity pays about $94.87 per month, the company estimates. That's an increase of about $8.48 from previous rates.
Duke Energy Ohio serves more than 650,000 homes across Southwest Ohio, and 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial electric service customers and approximately 533,000 natural gas customers across a 3,000-square-mile service area in Ohio and Kentucky.