State News

NC regulators hold Duke Energy rate increase hearing

Posted July 8, 2013

New Duke Energy logo

— North Carolina regulators are holding a hearing into whether to allow Duke Energy to raise electricity bills for nearly two million customers.

The state Utilities Commission on Monday hears the pros and cons of a rate increase that would be the third since 2009 for customers of Duke Energy Carolinas, which serves the western part of the Triangle and much of western North Carolina.

A proposed settlement with the state's official consumer advocate would allow Duke to raise rates by 4.5 percent overall, increasing to 5 percent after two years.

The power company said the rate increase would total $205 million in each of the first two years, increasing to $235 million after the third year.

Duke initially sought about twice that much.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered on the Halifax Mall outside the Utilities Commission offices to protest the proposed increase, equating Duke with the "Monopoly" board game.

Watchdog group NC WARN says it plans to argue during the hearings that Duke should refund customers money instead of raising rates, questioning its accounting practices and claiming that the utility improperly shifted costs from large industrial users of electricity to residential homeowners.

41 Comments

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  • Sherlock Jul 8, 6:41 p.m.

    They will approve it, these guys carry a lot of votes and money.

  • Carolinian40 Jul 8, 6:01 p.m.

    This is why, Obama has nothing to do with the rate increase, upgrading plants have nothing to do with it, Coal cleanness and affordability has nothing to do with it. Is all for the high paid executives and NEW Duke executives. At the time of the merger, Duke said there were not going to be any rate increase due to the merger, on the contrary, it was going to save the customers money because being the largest utility company, they could buy in bulk at a lower rate. Yet here we are pushing a 3rd rate increase. They even dare to threaten the State Commissioners that if they didn't approve the merger, Duke would leave the State. Now in 2014, Duke is considering lowering all Progress Energy's employees salaries because poor Duke Energy employees were crying that Duke Emp. make less than PE employees. Now if this is not a monopoly, and if this is not Corporate America and Government intimidation as its best, we should have the Nazis run the country, there won't be much of a difference.

  • Carolinian40 Jul 8, 5:48 p.m.

    Fact #8 - Duke Energy's reputation = worse in the business, not even in the top 300 Forbes.
    Progress Energy reputation = for 8 years straight, top Forbes 100, only utility company in the South East on the least and only company in the triangle in the top 50.
    Duke Energy employee rate = lowest loyalty levels in the business
    Progress Energy emp. rate = over 80% of employees have over 30 years of service with the company.

    Fact #9 - Progress Energy customer rate = highest on the market, top 5 nationwide for 5 consecutive years.
    Duke Energy customer rate = they weren't even on the list.

    Fact #10 - Duke has 6 full time, high paid executives working in Washington DC, 2 of them in the Energy Commission. Reason why they can get away with everything they want.

    So there you have it. Is it going to make a difference to speak out? of course not. For as long as America's Gov. and McCrory hold the blue light special, Duke will continue to be a high pay shopper.

  • Carolinian40 Jul 8, 5:39 p.m.

    Fact #5 - Duke Energy was told by Federal Regulators that Bill Johnson was to remain CEO of new company to compensate high salaries and monopoly practices.
    Bill Johnson's Progress CEO salary = $980,900.
    Jim Rogers (Duke CEO) salary = $6.8 million / 8.2 million after the merger
    Fact #6 - Duke was told by regulators to keep Progress leadership as is, to eliminate monopoly practices. 2 months after merger, Duke replaced 60% of all Progress leaders, by "Forced retirement" and replaced by Duke employees all with a 40% salary increase. Meaning an increase in salaries in the millions of $$$.
    Progress Energy VPs and Directors salary = $250,000
    Duke Energy's VPs and Directors salary = from $680,000 to $1.2 mil.
    All these in public records.

    Fact #7 Progress Energy market value at time of merger = $69.31 share. Duke Energy's market Value at time of merger = $21.30 Duke Energy's market value right now = $62.31 less than PE.

  • Carolinian40 Jul 8, 5:28 p.m.

    To all protesting fellow Carolinian all I can say as a Duke Energy employee, all I can say is "Save your words". Exercising your freedom of speech against Duke Energy and Gov. McCrory is a waste of time. The rate hikes are a done deal. But here is why: Fact #1 - Gov. McCrory used to work for Duke Energy and continued to work and lobby for Duke Energy while working as Major of Charlotte.
    Fact #2 - Duke Energy is a huge Republican contributor, this is why they are getting away with "Murder" after the merger and during the merger.
    Fact #3 - Duke Energy's only reason for rates hike is to pay for the $26 Billion merger they couldn't afford but needed Progress Energy's reputation to stay afloat and increase their value.
    Fact #4 - Duke Energy has been breaking the law and breaking merger conditions every since 2 hours after the merger was approved.

  • IchyNutSack Jul 8, 4:17 p.m.

    Didn't Obama say "with my plan, Utility rates would SKYROCKET"? Yep, He sure did! The Libs become angry when I point these FACTS out tho- It is a sad state of affairs here in the U.S. these days.

  • kikinc Jul 8, 3:54 p.m.

    I've already seen a rate hike. We participate in the balanced bill program so we pay the same amount every month. It has been $96/month for the past 3 years. After Duke took over, our monthly bill has jumped to $134/month. Our power usage hasn't changed, so what gives?

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 8, 3:13 p.m.

    Once the Republican tax overhaul goes into effect and we have to start paying taxes on our energy use, that green energy that everyone loves to hate is going to start looking mighty attractive I bet. Between the Republicans and the corporations, they'll have us back in caves in front of a fire in no time flat.

    RadioDJ
    July 8, 2013 12:07 p.m...... I'm not sure where you live, but in NC we already pay a sale tax on all energy , (electric, gas, oil etc.) When the cost goes up on any of them, the sale tax goes up. Think about it, an increase of 5.7% will be an increase of 5.7% increase in sale tax.

  • Scubagirl Jul 8, 2:57 p.m.

    "Where are all the Duke Energy lovers who were posting here how great the merger was going to be before it happens.ncpilot2"

    I don't recall ANY who said it was good, great or anything else but A BAD IDEA!!!!

  • Reformed Liberal Jul 8, 2:48 p.m.

    Even the "pay as you go" plan is a fraud. Under the "pay as you go plan" we would be paying for new construction before they even get underway with no promise to lower the rate back once constructions is completed.

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