"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Duke Energy is yet again approaching the Utilities Commission seeking approval of a nearly 10% rate increase for its North Carolina customers.
It would be the third rate hike since 2009.
Last year Duke requested a 15% increase, but received only 7.2%.
Duke says it needs the additional revenue to pay for investments in plant improvements and for cleaner energy.
If this latest increase is approved, it would raise the average residential bill $14 a month.
That is in addition to the average $84 annual increase customers paid last year.
So, if your typical monthly bill is around $100, you have the potential of averaging $250 more per year in just two years.
So we ask: What about next year...and the year after that? Will Duke keep coming to the well? How many more increases can people handle?
Our call is to the Utilities Commission.
Think about the consumer, and the financial stress this puts on families...especially those living on low incomes in a tight economy.
Think about the dwindling cash people will have to spend on other goods and services, and the loss of tax revenue this could potentially cost.
How much will our state and other businesses lose to cover Duke's gain?
You can let the Utilities Commission know how you feel about the proposed increase at a public hearing to be held June 26th at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.
Because WBTV is "On Your Side," we encourage everyone to "Speak Out" – tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.