ELIZABETH CITY -- Relief from higher-than-normal electric bills could be in store for some North Carolina residents.

North Carolina-based company Duke Energy Progress could strike a deal with localities across eastern North Carolina to purchase shares at four different power plants across the state.

Decades ago, in an effort to control their own utilities, Elizabeth City, Edenton and 28 other cities and towns in the state bought shares in the four plants located in Brunswick, Wake and Person counties.

The debt from construction costs associated with that agreement has kept utilities bills up.

'Being a military family, we live on a fixed income just like everybody else,' said Elizabeth City resident Crystal Ditro. 'A lowered electricity bill would really make our day.'

Officials with the managing company of the power agency say the debt alone makes up about 35 percent of a customer's electric rate.

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