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Supreme Court upholds Duke Energy rate increase

Posted December 19, 2014

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— Duke Energy has won its latest round in its ongoing battle with Attorney General Roy Cooper over rate increases.

The North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday upheld the decision of the state Utilities Commission to grant Duke a 7.2 percent rate increase in 2012.

Cooper's office challenged the increase two years ago, and the Supreme Court struck it down last year, ruling that the commission didn't properly weigh the impact of the higher electric rates on consumers.

After that ruling, the commission again approved the increase, and Cooper challenged it for a second time.

The court ruled this time around, however, that the commission did consider "the impact of changing economic conditions on customers."

Cooper also has appealed other rate increases the Utilities Commission has granted to Duke and its division formerly known as Progress Energy.

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  • Larry Lynch Dec 19, 2014
    user avatar

    ok fine --gov mc you and duke energy got your over price 7.2% increase- now I as a native north carolinaian demand that you clean up to epa standards your decades long pollution of MY state. and further that the company, the shareholders bear 100% of the clean up costs, not the residents of this state thru rate hikes.

  • Mary Zulch Dec 19, 2014
    user avatar

    I thank Mr. Cooper for trying to protect the citizens of NC from Duke. They have a very record of customer service, rates, and availability for problems. I miss Progress Energy. So much better for everything. Duke is all about making money on our backs. And of course, that the citizens pay for THEIR mistakes with coal ash. I do not wish them a happy holiday season.

  • WhatsInAName Dec 19, 2014

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    Except that Duke Energy has, according to their own web site, profited from over $3.5 billion in investments into solar power in states where they do not have a monopoly position. So the idea that they lose money on Renewable Energy is hogwash.

    As for them having the right to make a profit, I am all for the idea that companies be allowed to make a profit. I am also for the idea that companies should have to compete for those profits. I would be fine with Duke Energy being allowed to make any profit they like so long as they are stripped of their rights to be a monopoly and to dictate laws that people MUST have their homes attached to their power lines.

  • heelzfan4 Dec 19, 2014

    Duke Energy continues to "line the pockets" of our Court Judges (aka Group of Greedy folks). And I thank Mr. Cooper for doing his job - trying to protect citizens of NC instead of Private Greedy companies like DOOK energy.

  • rushbot Dec 19, 2014

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    I believe you are not correct in your statement. Duke has an amazing P/E and is reasonably priced. Should the shareholders choose to sell, it would not effect Duke in any reasonable scenario. Duke would not lose money, as the money for the shares was received when Duke first sold the stock. If the stock price went down as a result of some mythical sell off of Duke Energy stock, it would have no effect on Duke Energy at all. In fact the P/E would become even better as the stock price would go down relative to the earnings per share. The earnings per share have been consistent over the past several years and Duke has paid a quarterly dividend of about $1.25 per share during that time. This is about Duke having to pay to upgrade/repair out of state nuke plants and trying to pass that cost on to the citizens of North Carolina. The owners of Duke Energy should be responsible for those costs, not the citizens of North Carolina.

  • SaveEnergyMan Dec 19, 2014

    Duke Power does deserve to recover the increasing cost of electricity and return a reasonable profit to shareholders - otherwise the shareholders will take their money elsewhere.

    The blame for higher power costs should be placed on the NCGA for the Renewable Energy Portfolio standard that mandates the use of expensive solar power (paid to solar investors at an undisclosed rate which is more than retail) and the conversion of cheap coal power to natural gas due to the looming threat of cap and trade/carbon taxes.

    Duke's profits are capped by law. I have no love for Duke but the issue is far more complicated than impact on low income customers. I would expect Mr. Cooper to understand these factors, but then again, he is using this as campaign ammunition for the 2016 race.

  • rushbot Dec 19, 2014

    Thanks to the conservative NC State Supreme Court we are all getting a big fat lump of coal in our stockings this year. Duke Energy, a company which after all expenses were paid and retained earnings were taken into account, earned $5 Billion this year. And they now are going to take home an extra $14 a month from those with a $200 a month electric bill and $21 a month from those with a with a $300 dollar a month electric bill. Where is the fairness in that? Thank you for trying Roy Cooper. I appreciate your efforts in trying to protect the "little guy".