NC Attorney General to argue against Duke Energy rate increase - | WBTV Charlotte

NC Attorney General to argue against Duke Energy rate increase

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Consumers need to be taken into account when setting utility profit margins and evaluating requests for rate increases, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today as attorneys with his office prepared to argue in court against a rate hike proposed by Duke Energy.
 
Attorneys for Cooper's office will appear before the North Carolina Supreme Court on Tuesday in a case that will determine whether or not Duke Energy can raise its customers' rates by 7.2 percent in order to guarantee a 10.5 percent profit for the company, according to a news release from the Attorney General's office.
 
"Allowing double-digit profits when families and small businesses are struggling just to keep the lights on is wrong," Cooper said in the release. "The specific impact on consumers must be part of the equation for determining utility profits and rates."
 
The arguments come at a time when both other major power companies operating in North Carolina, Progress Energy and Dominion Power, have also requested double-digit rate increases, and Duke Energy is expected to seek an additional rate increase sometime next year.
 
Duke Energy originally asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission for a rate increase that would have raised the average customer's monthly bill by approximately 17 percent.  That increase got reduced to a 7.2 percent rate increase, which the Utilities Commission approved but Cooper thinks it's still too much for consumers to have to pay right now.
 
The Attorney General's appeal focuses not on whether Duke Energy should be allowed to recover its investments, but on whether it should be allowed to raise customers' rates in order to make a 10.5 percent shareholder profit in this challenging economic climate.
 
The Utilities Commission failed to properly take into account economic conditions faced by consumers as required by NCGS § 62-133, Cooper's office contends in its briefs.

The appeal points out that none of the experts who testified in support of the increase looked at the impact higher electricity rates would have on Duke Energy consumers who may be on fixed incomes or struggling with job losses, business customers facing reduced income, or taxpayers who fund government agencies and local schools.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Forever Family: Meet Nasharra

    Forever Family: Meet Nasharra

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 11:22 PM EST2018-02-21 04:22:19 GMT

    This week’s Forever Family Angel who is hoping a family will come along and adopt her is Nasharra!  Every child I meet is unique and Nasharra is special. This young lady struck me as someone who is focused on the things that are important to her advancement. 

    More >>

    This week’s Forever Family Angel who is hoping a family will come along and adopt her is Nasharra!  Every child I meet is unique and Nasharra is special. This young lady struck me as someone who is focused on the things that are important to her advancement. 

    More >>
  • County leaders reach agreement for policing of unincorporated areas

    County leaders reach agreement for policing of unincorporated areas

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 10:55 PM EST2018-02-21 03:55:16 GMT
    (Amanda Foster | WBTV)(Amanda Foster | WBTV)

    Mecklenburg County leaders reached an agreement Tuesday over who will police some of the county’s unincorporated areas. County leaders approved a 5-year extension with CMPD to police some of what they call “extra-territorial jurisdictions” or ETJ’s. 

    More >>

    Mecklenburg County leaders reached an agreement Tuesday over who will police some of the county’s unincorporated areas. County leaders approved a 5-year extension with CMPD to police some of what they call “extra-territorial jurisdictions” or ETJ’s. 

    More >>
  • Charlotte gun store owner speaks on POTUS' gun memorandum

    Charlotte gun store owner speaks on POTUS' gun memorandum

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 9:39 PM EST2018-02-21 02:39:28 GMT
    (WBTV file photo)(WBTV file photo)

    Tuesday afternoon President Donald Trump announced he had signed a memorandum directing the United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. 

    More >>

    Tuesday afternoon President Donald Trump announced he had signed a memorandum directing the United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly