18% Increase in Power Bills for Unneeded Plant, Coal
Duke Energy is seeking an 18% rate hike this year for residential electricity customers. Over 13.5% would cover costs such as the Cliffside coal-fired power plant, now under construction west of Charlotte. Another 4.5% increase has recently been approved for rising costs of coal.
1) Attend the Utilities Commission hearing in Raleigh on October 19, 1pm … RALLY AT NOON. 430 N. Salisbury St.
2) Send comments – short or long – to NC Utilities Commission Chair Ed Finley: firstname.lastname@example.org
URGE COMMISSIONERS TO DENY DUKE ENERGY’S RATE HIKE AND REVOKE PERMISSION FOR CLIFFSIDE:
Instead of a rate hike, Cliffside construction should be stopped. Recent Duke Energy data adds to proof that the $2.4 billion plant is not needed. Over two dozen organizations have petitioned the Utilities Commission to halt construction and conduct evidentiary hearings.*
Duke’s rate hike would be only the first of many if the company continues building coal and nuclear power plants. State rules reward Duke for building expensive plants and maximizing sales – even if customers’ power bills rise dramatically.
North Carolina law strictly prohibits construction of unneeded power plants. The Commission earlier allowed Duke to skirt the state’s “least cost” requirement, although Commissioner Robert Owens agreed with critics that Cliffside should not be built.
Multiple factors prove Cliffside is not needed. Among them: Duke is trying to expand sales to entire cities outside its service area – and is appealing a Commission ruling against the expansion. Even the top U.S. energy regulator now dismisses the need for new coal and nuclear plants.
Cliffside is not needed, according to a Duke University economist, who says Duke Energy’s own data shows new plants can be avoided by modest increases in energy efficiency and with renewable power at levels already required in North Carolina.
Duke Energy and Cliffside are hazardous to the public; to us as ratepayers, to our health, and by fueling accelerating climate change, which the world’s top scientists call a global emergency.
Plans for 100 coal-fired plants have been shelved since 2006 in response to climate change, rising energy prices, and the ravages of mountaintop coal mining.
The Utilities Commission must stop allowing Duke to waste customers’ money while risking an environmental health tragedy. North Carolina wants to be part of the national surge toward energy efficiency and clean power that is creating thousands of jobs in other states.
Now is the time for the People of North Carolina to assert our authority involving key decisions, by insisting that the politically appointed Utilities Commission – and all elected officials – stand up to Duke Energy: Cancel Cliffside and turn this state toward NC SAVE$ ENERGY and clean power generation.
* For more on the lack of need for Cliffside, see https://www.ncwarn.org/?p=1334
Also see www.StopCliffside.org