TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Duke Energy customers could start to see a relief in electric bills after months of rate increases.

According to Angeline Protogere, a spokesperson with Duke Energy, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved a 5.5% rate decrease for January-March.

She said Duke Energy applied for another decrease Tuesday of 16% for the months of April-June.

Indiana Utilities applies for rate adjustments four times a year based on fuel costs.

“During 2022, as you know, fuel costs were soaring. Those were the costs to produce our power and also drove up the cost of the power we purchase in the energy markets. We’re starting to see some of those prices stabilize now. It’s still volatile, but we’re passing along those savings to consumers,” Protogere said.

Duke Energy customers saw a 16% increase during the summer of last year and a 7.2% increase from October-December.

Although a rate decrease kicked in starting at the beginning of the year, Protogere explained customers may still be seeing a higher-than-normal bill.

“Some of our customers are on billing cycles where in January, they would have been seeing the cost of their power use over the holidays. And if you remember, it was extremely cold at that time. Plus people had more people in their homes, they were using lights and appliances more,” Protogere said.

Protogere said the 16% rate decrease would take about $26 off of the average residential customer’s electric bill per month.

She said they will know sometime before April if the 16% rate decrease was approved.

Duke Energy is still offering interest-free installment payment plans for qualifying customers.

Protogere said if you need help paying your electric bill, contact Duke Energy so they can connect you with the correct resources.