Electrical provider Duke Energy is requesting an overall rate increase of 17% from customers to cover increases in operating and maintenance costs, as well as capital improvements. If approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, rate increases would come in two phases, 15% in 2020 and another 2% increase in April 2021. The rate hike would raise Duke Energy’s annual operating revenues by $393 million, or an increase of about 15.4%. Duke says the additional revenue will cover infrastructure investments to address a growing customer base and help the company transition to cleaner power and replace / upgrade equipment to reduce power outages. It will also install smart meters for customers. The largest part of the increase will go toward new power lines and substations. — Cast your vote at newsandtribune.com.