The NC Utilities Commission ordered this state’s Duke Energy Carolinas customers to pay $545 million for coal ash negligence and $347 million for the utility’s 13-year, failed effort to begin construction of twin nuclear reactors – a project now cancelled. Even more shameful is that the commission granted Duke a roughly 10 percent mark-up on the coal ash mistake by corporate execs, just as it did in the Duke Progress case earlier this year.
See our page on Duke Energy’s 2017 rate hike requests, with details on hearing dates and other action alerts.
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Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good recently promised investors they could count on “multiple rate cases” in both of the corporation’s Carolinas service areas beginning next year – to fund seemingly endless construction of fracked gas power plants and clean-up of coal ash. Separately, she promised to boost rates and profits via a $16 billion electric “grid modernization” scheme that an expert for the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) testified could, on its own, raise residential rates by up to 50 percent.
Duke Energy’s proposed side deal at the 11th hour of an already controversial rate case continues drawing opposition from consumer watchdogs, industrial customers, tech giants and environmental groups. It appears the vaguely worded deal could bring an initial rate hike of 26 percent over the first three years – while becoming a perpetual tax on customers.
Today NC WARN filed a motion calling for the NC Utilities Commission to reject a secretive, last minute settlement between Duke Energy and several organizations that would open the floodgates for huge, streamlined rate hikes with no guarantee of benefit to anyone other than corporate stockholders.
See coverage in Greensboro News & Record
The utility that serves the Triad, Charlotte, Durham and much of North Carolina’s western area struck the $2.5 billion proposed deal with several environmental groups and the Commercial Group, a coalition of major retailers, including Walmart and Food Lion. *Please see paragraph in bold*
Shameful as it is that the NC Utilities Commission last month ordered customers to pay hundreds of millions for Duke Energy’s coal ash negligence in the Duke-Progress rate case…what’s even more shameful is that the Commission granted Duke a 10 percent mark-up on coal ash in the Progress case and that Duke’s seeking the same for coal ash and the nuclear boondoggle in the Carolinas case.
First off, let’s face the hard truth. After several weeks of expert testimony that ended Thursday in Raleigh, it’s a pretty good bet your light bill is going up later this year. Like it or not, your bill’s probably going up to deal with coal ash waste generated for decades by coal-fired power plants and never given a proper burial.
Duke Energy has escalated its longstanding feud against NC WARN with a demand, sent from the company’s legal department, that NC WARN remove information from its web site about Duke’s financial practices.
Duke Energy spends tens of millions a year in North Carolina on lobbying, public relations and advertising, focusing in its most recent TV and radio spots on the “smarter energy future” it’s working toward…Why does a monopoly need to advertise?
Charlotte-based Duke Energy uses more than $80 million annually to influence government officials, civic leaders, news media and the public – and its monopoly-captive customers are forced to pay the bill.
WRAL: Environmentalists call out Duke Energy over ‘influence spending’
News & Observer: Duke Energy threatens advocacy group with legal action over financial claims
Duke Energy response: Cease and desist demand