Duke Energy Progress has requested a rate increase of:
The average residential bill would increase $17.80 if the rate hike is approved.
Duke Energy Progress has asked for a 2.3% increase in customers’ fuel rates in addition to this rate hike. Together, the increases come to 19 percent for residential rates and would increase bills by an average $20 per month, a tremendous hardship for families least able to afford it.
Duke is expected to request a similar rate hike later this year for customers in its Duke Energy Carolinas territory.
This large rate hike request is a symptom of Duke Energy’s business model of constructing fracked gas-burning power plants and raising rates while working with the Koch brothers to stifle the growth of renewable energy. If Duke is allowed to continue on this track, there will be many more rate increases.
And if Duke Energy’s massive expansion of fracked gas succeeds without considerably stronger scrutiny and challenge, the hyper-potent methane spewing unburned from gas wells, pipelines and power plants will be a key factor in driving humanity into runaway climate chaos.
Among the concerns NC WARN has identified in the application for a rate increase:
A Further Concern: Backroom Deals
NC WARN is urging state regulators to break their pattern of settling rate cases and mergers with Duke Energy behind closed doors. The long-running practice undercuts the public wellbeing and gives the utility exactly what it really wants – covered by a thin pretense of regulatory oversight. We are also calling on Attorney General Josh Stein not to be drawn into backroom negotiations, and instead to stand up for the public against allowing Duke’s attempt to recover billions in coal ash clean-up costs that were caused by its executives’ illegal actions.
In a letter sent to the attorney general and Chris Ayers, head of the NC Utilities Commission’s Public Staff, we noted that in the past several rate cases, “premature settlement has made involvement by the public and intervenors almost meaningless.” Last year, for the fifth straight time in a major Duke Energy case, the Public Staff undermined fair process by cutting a backroom deal with the utility; that time, they didn’t even await input from the public or parties to the case.
Rockingham: Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Richmond County Courthouse, Courtroom A, 105 W. Franklin Street
Raleigh: Monday, September 25, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Commission Hearing Room 2115, Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury Street
Asheville: Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Buncombe County Courthouse, Courtroom 1A, 60 Court Plaza
Snow Hill: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Greene County Courthouse, 301 N. Greene Street
Wilmington: Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
New Hanover County Courthouse, 316 Princess Street