It could have been much worse, but it's still not necessary:
Duke Energy Progress electric rates will increase by an average of 4.7% across all customer groups, effective June 1. The annualized bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month will increase to $119.83 from the current $113.53 over the next two years.
The specific increase for individual customer groups will vary, depending on the rate they pay. The average rate increase will be 5.3% for residential customers, 4.7% for commercial customers and 3.6% for industrial customers.
Duke Energy pays out about 75% of its earnings in stockholder dividends, and those dividends have grown by almost 10% in the last 3 years. In actual dollars paid to investors, it's now roughly $2.8 Billion, per year. Which makes this almost laughable:
The NCUC approved several Duke Energy proposals to reduce the impact of rising costs on low- and fixed-income customers. Duke Energy shareholders will contribute $6 million over two years to the Helping Home Fund to provide energy- and cost-saving measures to North Carolina customers, $5 million over two years to the Duke Energy Carolinas Share the Warmth program and $5 million over two years to the Duke Energy Progress Energy Neighbor Fund to provide billing assistance to low-income customers.
The people who are helped by these programs probably wouldn't consider them pointless. But in the overall scheme of things, they are.