Saturday, April 13, 2013

NC Supreme Court Overturns Duke Energy Rate Hike


The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state Utilities Commission did not adequately consider the negative impact on consumers by allowing Duke to raise electricity rates for 1.8 million households and businesses by 7.2 percent. The commission voted in January 2012 to allow the rate increase, which would generate an extra $309 million in annual revenue for Duke.

The rate package Duke proposed included a 10.5 percent profit for the company's subsidiary operating in the western half of the state, pushing the typical residential bill up by $84 a year to almost $1,236. While hundreds of consumers objected that the requested increase would pile misery atop high unemployment and home foreclosures, the utilities commission's order approving the lower rate increase didn't indicate what, if any, weight the oversight board gave those concerns.

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