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Duke seeks 15 percent increase in electric rates

Posted June 1

Duke Energy logo

— Duke Energy on Thursday filed a request with state regulators to increase electric rates by an average 14.9 percent across central and eastern North Carolina by the beginning of next year.

"Our customers tell us they want electricity that is more reliable and increasingly clean, and they also want more value and choice every day," David Fountain, Duke’s North Carolina president, said in a statement. "It is critical that we, as their energy provider, balance these needs with smart investments that keep costs reasonable and keep North Carolina competitive."

If the increase is approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, residential customers would see their rates go up by 16.7 percent, while rates for industrial and commercial customers would go up by 13.5 percent.

The increases will generate an extra $477 million in revenue for the Charlotte-based utility, which officials said would help pay for new natural gas-fired power plants and solar arrays and to clean up coal ash ponds at older plants.

"We are transitioning to a cleaner generation mix, closing older, less-efficient coal-fired plants and shifting to natural gas, carbon-free nuclear and expanded solar energy," Fountain said. "Through these investments, we are providing customers cleaner, more reliable energy and have laid the foundation for a smarter energy future from which all North Carolinians can benefit."

State laws adopted since 2014 have mandated that Duke close all of its coal ash ponds across North Carolina. The ash at a few sites must be dug up and moved to lined landfills, while other sites can simply be covered and left in place.

Duke officials said the company also spent heavily to rebuild its power distribution system after Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Hermine last fall and after three winter storms, and the added revenue will help recoup some of those costs.

11 Comments

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  • Jim Smith Jun 7, 5:04 p.m.
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    View quoted thread


    Completely agree! That is what this is all about! They want the public to pay for their coal ash mess!!!

  • Catherine Edwards Jun 2, 4:36 p.m.
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    Duke made $2.2 billion in net profit last year. That's off the backs of the hard working folks that plug into Duke. The reasons for the 15% increase is a lie. The revenue projections should include reserves for natural events.
    In the meantime I'm looking forward to those solar panel shingles for my roof from Elon Musk.

    Here's what they said in their annual report for 2016.
    "Our five-year, annual long-term growth
    rate remains 4 to 6 percent and is underpinned by delivering strong results on our growth capital plan, which we increased by 25 percent to $37
    billion. With this five-year plan, we are focused on meeting the changing needs of our customers and communities, and delivering superior returns to our investors. We will continue our cost
    management efforts throughout our business, keeping our pledge to maintain flat operating and maintenance expenses through 20

  • John Johnson Jun 2, 4:22 p.m.
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    Nice, The Consumers Get Over Charged Stuck again. Using Any Bogus Excuse to Charge More Money From the Hard Working Class People. Why Don't they Cut the Useless Upper Sleepers There. 90% Don't Do anything Except Collect a Pay Check!! Now, They've Constantly Being Messing Up and The Consumers are going to Pay from Their Mistakes, Instead of Being Held Accountable. AGAIN!

  • Charles Boyer Jun 2, 8:28 a.m.
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    Why should consumers pay for Duke Energy's mismanagement of their coal ash storage? That should come out of their stockholders' pockets, after all, it is the stockholders that elected the board that hired the managers who made the decisions that led to their problems. Perhaps instead of spending money advertising how good they are, or paying their CEO large bonuses, they could pay for the mess they literally created themselves.

  • Henry Cooper Jun 2, 6:54 a.m.
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    This is such a load. Duke power should have set aside some profits rather than paying out all the bonus's and stock dividends.

    How about the 3.9 million you paid in bonus to your CEO this year (that is on top of a $9mil equity/salary) and the 20+ million you guys divided among 5 execs?Blaming this stuff on weather is just treating us like we're dumb. Weather happens every year so again you plan ahead and save some cash. We have had as many mild winters and summers as harsh ones where power companies spent less in maintenance so it should balance out.

    CEO's have figured out that when cash gets heavy on the books they need to "pay it out" not save it for improvements. They do this in bonus plans, stock awards, etc. They know they will get a rate increase to do things that should have been done because of the lobbyist influence and big government.

    ...and the machine rolls on...

  • Scott Spaine Jun 2, 5:43 a.m.
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    NO!NO!NO! DUKE POWER IS TRYING TO FLEECE THE PUBLIC. THEY HAVE ASKED FOR A RATE INCREASE EACH YEAR SINCE THEY BOUGHT PROGRESS ENERGY. SORRY YOUR STOCK HOLDERS NEED TO WAIT FOR THEIR DIVIDENDS. LET'S SEE THE LAST TIME I GOT A 15% RAISE WAS........NEVER!
    WHAT A BUNCH OF A.... BUT THEN WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WITH A NAME LIKE "DUKE."

  • Linda Tally Jun 2, 3:31 a.m.
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    Does this company really believe we'll buy this reason for raising the cost? After all it spent trying to avoid cleaning up its mess created by another "maximize profits" venture? Time to let the investors in Duke Power sit and wait for a payoff - the rest of us always have to.

  • Haley Sessoms Jun 1, 9:34 p.m.
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    "Reliable power" that's a joke. All the wind has to do is blow where I'm at and the power goes out for a few hours. Bad thing is they have us right where they want us we depend on them and they can name they're price

  • Henry Cooper Jun 1, 6:45 p.m.
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    I guess the 6.7 million in 2016 and 1.4 million so far this year spent on lobbyist by Duke Energy is/was money well spent when this goes thru.

    SMH as the machine rolls on...

    https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000477&year=2016

  • Andy Jackson Jun 1, 6:04 p.m.
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    This is nothing but GREED, GREED and more GREED! Knew this would happen when DOOK gobbled up CP&L. Gotta line the pockets of stock holders.

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