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Speak out Against More Giant Rate Hikes for Dirty Power — Alert from NC WARN

Do you think you should pay for Duke Energy’s coal ash cleanup and for nuclear plants that will never be built?

Do you want to pay 75% more than you do now for basic electric service (up to $19.50/month) no matter how much electricity you use?

If not, come speak out at one of the public hearings listed below.

See news reports on heearings here.

Duke Energy-Progress has asked the NC Utilities Commission to approve a nearly 17% residential rate hike!

Public hearings are underway around the state, including one next Monday, Sept. 25 in Raleigh (see details below).

NC WARN is pressing the Utilities Commission on several points:

  • Regarding coal ash, NC WARN told regulators in March that state laws don’t allow Duke to charge customers for unlawful activities. Duke execs and shareholders profited from risky coal ash handling practices and customers shouldn’t bail out the corporation when its negligence backfires.
  • In addition to seeking $330 million for coal ash activities so far, Duke seeks to charge customers $129 million per year for future clean-ups – with no end date specified – which is unlawful.
  • Rates would jump by as much as $20/month for residential customers, with the toughest impact on low- and fixed-income families due to the 75% increase in the residential basic service charge, a flat fee that would jump to $19.50 per month even if no power is used.
  • Duke Energy wants customers in the Carolinas to pay $45 million for its failed 7-year effort to license and build two new reactors at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant, and over $500 million for the failed Lee nuclear project.

In the last rate case, NC WARN exposed nearly $100 million in annual overcharges that Duke tried to slip past regulators (“accounting errors,” a Duke VP claimed). We’ll be checking Duke’s accounting this time, too.

But here’s the biggest reason to oppose Duke’s rate hike: it’s paying for madness like pipelines to transport fracked natural gas and power plants to burn it! There is a much cheaper path that does not put us on the road to climate chaos. It’s all spelled out in our new report NC CLEAN PATH 2025. If Duke is allowed to continue on its “build plants, raise rates” track, there will be many more rate increases. It’s time for a new way forward.

You Can Help!

  1. Show up at one of the hearings below and tell the Commission how you feel about shelling out $20 more every month to pay for coal ash cleanup, dirty fossil fuels and nuclear plants that will never be built.

Raleigh: Monday, September 25, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. (Details)
Commission Hearing Room 2115, Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh
Rally beforehand: 5:30-6:15 p.m., 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh

Asheville: Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. (Details)
Buncombe County Courthouse, Courtroom 1A, 60 Court Plaza, Asheville
Rally beforehand: 5 p.m. at Vance Monument

Snow Hill: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Greene County Courthouse, 301 N. Greene Street, Snow Hill

Wilmington: Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
New Hanover County Courthouse, 316 Princess Street, Wilmington

  1. If you can’t make it in person, submit your comments to the Utilities Commission by email: statements@ncuc.net (specify docket E-2 SUB 1142 in the subject line).
  2. Email Attorney General Josh Stein thanking him for his decision to conduct a wide-ranging deposition of Duke Energy witnesses on the company’s coal ash handling.

Duke Energy-Carolinas is also asking for a huge rate increase. We’ll let you know when those hearings are scheduled. Check ncwarn.org/rates for hearing updates and more information on both rate cases.

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