The NC Supreme Court is hearing two Duke Energy rate cases Monday beginning at 9:30 am. NC WARN and Attorney General Roy Cooper appealed the Utilities Commission’s order in both cases granting the rate increases.
The Courtroom is on the third floor of the Justice Building.
2 East Morgan Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
The first case is from 2011. The Supreme Court agreed with the AG and sent the case back to the Utilities Commission, stating that the Commission had not adequately considered how Duke’s guaranteed profit would impact customers. The Commission thumbed its regulatory nose at the Court with an order similar to their original position, which NC WARN and the AG then appealed.
The second case is from 2013. The AG is again arguing that the Commission cannot grant Duke guaranteed profits without assessing how customers will be impacted. NC WARN supports that argument and adds another: that Duke’s rate-making method rigs electricity rates against homes and small businesses in order to attract no-jobs data centers into the state with dirt-cheap rates.
Residential customers use large of amounts of electricity during the summer peak, but high-load industrial and data center customers need large power plants around the clock. In the 2013 case, most of the rate increase was to pay for several new power plants that serve primarily ‘round-the-clock needs. But small customers had to pay for the largest portion of them because Duke’s rate-making method allocates costs based on the single hottest hour of the year – when the small customers are running their air conditioners full-bore.
NC WARN and Greenpeace demonstrated to the Commission how this is discriminatory, but the Commission never even addressed it.
NC WARN is asking for the Court to reverse the Commission’s order, or at least send it back to the Commission and require them to address why residential and small business ratepayers should pay most of the costs of round-the-clock power plants.
See a graphic depiction of Duke’s rate-rigging scheme here.