Economists say a proposed “annual rate hike bill” to fund new nuclear plants would be aninterest-free loan to Duke from ratepayers – without saving any money.
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Several energy watchdog groups told Eyewitness News a new settlement with Duke Energy will not help customers’ monthly power bills. Details of the settlement between Progress Energy and Duke Energy were released Thursday afternoon. If approved, it will end a months-long battle over their controversial merger.
The number immediately jumped out to Jim Hoard: $9 million. That’s the amount Progress Energy expects to save within its first year of the merger with Duke Energy, according to the rate increase request Progress filed this month. The savings would come from streamlined operations and staff cuts that will eliminate 1,860 positions over three years.
NC WARN will be watching to see if Progress Energy tries to slip in $100s of millions in improper annual expenses – as its parent corporation Duke Energy did in its past two rate cases.
Progress Energy Carolinas is asking state regulators for a rate increase that would boost the average household electricity bill of its North Carolina customers by nearly $180 a year.
Over the years Progress Energy customers have fine-tuned the art of kvetching about their power bills, often forgetting that electricity costs here are well below the national average. That conversation is about to be pitched a few octaves higher.
Controversial rate hikes by Duke Energy Carolinas in 2009 and 2011 revealed a pattern of activity apparently designed to overcharge North Carolina electricity customers millions of dollars annually, energy watchdog group NC WARN said today. The group said Duke is either deliberately attempting to gouge ratepayers or suffers gross incompetence across its legal and accounting departments. It urged Attorney General Roy Cooper to take action.
See NC WARN’s letter to Attorney General Cooper and Public Staff’s Robert Gruber
As Duke Energy continues its six-year PR campaign touting CEO Jim Rogers’ concerns about climate change and North Carolina’s economic health, long-range plans filed this month with state regulators contradict his professions. The plans reflect serial rate hikes to pay for an aggressive expansion of generating plants, and high carbon emissions for the next two decades.
Law professor Gene Nichol supports NC WARN’s call for a stand-alone examination of Duke’s rate scheme that favors the world’s richest corporations.