Local News

Utilities Commission hears Progress Energy on rate increase

Posted September 16, 2008

— The state Utilities Commission is holding a hearing Tuesday on a proposed Progress Energy rate hike that could raise residential rates up to 16.2 percent.

The Raleigh-based utility filed a petition in June with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to increase rates by about $424 million, which would raise the average monthly energy bill to $112.57 from the current $98.86.

Earlier this month, however, Progress Energy filed a proposed settlement agreement that would reduce the impact of the fuel increase by spreading the rate increase over the next three years.

The result would reduce the increase for the average monthly bill to $108.02 – a total increase of about 11.5 percent, rather than 16.2 percent.

Whatever rate, if approved, will take effect Dec. 1.

Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes said Tuesday that a decision on the increase isn't likely to happen right away. The hearing, he said, is needed so commissioners can hear testimony, interview witnesses and look at exhibits in support of the hike.

Progress Energy has said the increase– the highest fuel-related increase since the 1970s – is needed because the price of coal, which the company uses to generate about half its electricity in the Carolinas, has soared in recent months.

Prices for natural gas and fuel oil, which account for about 5 percent of output, have also risen drastically.

Progress Energy says it does not make a profit from the fuel cost component of the rates. The company files annually to recover fuel costs. This year's filing reflects anticipated future costs, given continued higher prices.


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  • NC is my home Sep 17, 2008

    Diggit--All CP&L employees do not make the same, but their pay is on average 25-35& more than the same job. You are obviously a CP&L employee.

  • 07GoldWinger Sep 17, 2008

    I can think of only 2 times in the last 12 months where I lost power to my home. In one case it was a storm, another a wreck. In both cases, my power was restored in less than 2 hours.

    Am I complaining about the service PE gives me? No. Is that service worth higher rates? I am still undecided.

  • micah Sep 16, 2008

    Wow! What a bunch of complaining crybabies! NC has some of the cheapest electricity rates in the Nation, and the USA is one of the very cheapest places in the whole WORLD for our utility services! I just got back from another year of living in New York...My electric rate was nearly 15 cents per kilowatt hour with a $16 basic charge tacked on. I am quite content with my NC rate of less than 10 cents per KWH, and a $7 basic charge. The national average rate is 9.25 cents per KWH, so we are right on schedule.

    Our days of cheap energy are over! Americans have been spoiled for a very long time with cheap and abundant energy.

  • dmpaltman Sep 16, 2008

    Chemgrad...wake up and drop the left wing party line. All big companies get big tax breaks, but also pay huge tax bills. Progress Energy's employees are paid based on the average of other utilities pay....nothing more and nothing less. And when you see those PGN lineman standing around taking a break, just think, some of those guys are subject to work throughout the night while you are sleeping.

  • bs101fly Sep 16, 2008

    guys, we should ALL be thankful they aren't asking for 17% increase for without them we'd be in the dark and wouldn't be able to waste our time on this prolific blog.
    come on, everyone deserves love.
    And our money!

  • Bob3425 Sep 16, 2008

    How about Progress Energy executives take a pay cut.

  • Phroge Sep 16, 2008

    Sure! Give them the rate increase... right after all bonuses to the company officers are canceled and they refuse any pay increase for the next year. Then, if they still need an increase, give them the increase. We'll let them have a 1% increase for every 10% cut to the corporate officers salaries. After all, why should there be a rate increase if all the corporate officers are going to do is give themselves wage increases and bonuses with the extra cash?

  • veyor Sep 16, 2008

    lilbit278 - Our number of employees has been cut by two thirds, and there hasn't been a raise in two years. My son-in-law's company all have had a 15% cut in pay. I have talked to three people who own small companies that have filed for bankrupcy just this week. How much of a raise did Progress Energy employees get this year?

  • diggit733 Sep 16, 2008

    nc is my home.. You are making the assumption that all progress energy emloyees make the same money. I would imagine that working rotating shift work would not appeal to you nor the sometimes 65-75 hour work week. I don't know what your idea of great money is, but I can assure you the majority of employees do not make a great deal of money. Do I think they are paid fairly for the amount and kind of work they do....most of the time, but as one who has missed more holiday's than I can count because my husband is helping to create power for a bunch of ungrateful peole then I say to you they won't miss your business! Besides, if you want to make that kind of money go educate yourself and get a job with them!

  • veyor Sep 16, 2008

    sixteen percent?? Has anybody thought about how much money that is? How about 2%? That would be a wad right there!