Members of the state Public Service Commission approved a settlement agreement with Progress Energy that will freeze customers' base utility rate at least until January 2013.
Currently, residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month pay $48.58 in base rates now.
The base rate freeze does not mean consumers will not see any increase in their utility payments. The freeze does not affect other fees, such as the fuel charge. Utility bills could rise or fall depending on the cost of fuels like coal and natural gas.
The state has used base rate freezes two other times over the last 10 years as a way to customers' bills from increasing too much.