Bowing to pressure from thousands of older adults struggling to pay a range of bills from medicines, water, and groceries, Duke Progress Energy was forced to accept a much lo wer rate increase than it requested from the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Late Friday, the Commission rejected Duke’s $20 average increase, cutting it back by $11 per residential customer. With this decision, Duke Progress customers will pay about $6 per month more for their electricity, and about $3 per month more for a monthly service charge.
Last week, the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission proposed a settlement of the Duke Energy rate request that would provide the company with an additional $235 million in revenue over the next two years. If the full Commission agrees with the Public Staff’s proposal, residents could be forced to pay over 11 percent more for their electricity over the next two years.
Rising senior Andrew Behm, a communication studies major, is honing his college coursework by practicing public relations with North Carolina’s largest consumer organization AARP.
CHARLOTTE -- AARP members from the Carolinas joined a chorus of protesters at the Duke Energy shareholders meeting who feel the company's rate hike requests are excessive in today's economy.
In response to the NC Supreme Court's decision in April that requires the North Carolina Utilities Commission to factor the interests of residential consumers in order to justify the 10.5 percent return on equity it granted to Duke Energy in 2012. AARP is arguing that double digit profit guaranteed to Duke is inconsistant with the state's economic realities.
As the N.C. Utilities Commission takes Duke Energy's long-term plan to the public for its reaction in a series of hearings this month, the majority of North Carolinians feel that Duke's 20 year plan, known as the IRP, relies too heavily on rate hikes and isn't focusing enough on the use of cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy.
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