News

New Duke CFO outlines priorities, Charlotte Observer

{August 6, 2013}

Longtime Duke Energy executive Steve Young, named Tuesday as the utility’s chief financial officer, says he will continue to focus on hitting earnings targets, growing Duke’s dividend and buffing its balance sheet and credit ratings… Good has said Duke would like to move to a pay-as-you-go model for new power plants and other infrastructure, whose costs in most cases are now billed to customers only once they’re in service.

How Duke fleeced Florida customers for $1.5 billion, WTSP News 10 (Tampa)

{August 2, 2013}

On Thursday, Duke Energy Florida (formerly Progress Energy) announced that the company would pull the plug on its future Levy Co. nuclear plant. And the money the company has been collecting from customers for years — and will continue to collect until 2018 — will go toward Duke Energy’s expenses and profits. (Article and video)

Thank you, Tallahassee, for making us pay so much for nothing, Tampa Bay Times

{August 1, 2013}

Hey, elected clowns! Thanks for passing a law forcing Duke Energy customers to pay up to $1.5 billion in higher rates for a long proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County that will not be built… This borders on fraud. If our elected officials had not rubber-stamped it into law seven years ago, it probably would be.

NC’s AG Cooper to appeal Progress Energy rate hike, Associated Press

{May 31, 2013}

North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper said Friday he would challenge an electricity rate increase taking effect Saturday that will cost the average home an extra $88 a year. The rate increase will cost consumers an extra $326 million over the next two years. The greatest increase will fall on residential customers, who will see a 6.5 percent average increase this year while some large customers see rates increase by 2.7 percent. “This order puts utility profits ahead of people,” Cooper said in a statement. “It talks about how much consumers are hurting but sticks them with higher rates anyway.”

NC Attorney General to fight Progress rate increase in court, The News & Observer

{May 31, 2013}

State Attorney General Roy Cooper said Friday he will ask the N.C. Supreme Court to block a 7.5 percent rate increase that North Carolina regulators approved a day earlier for Duke Energy Progress. Cooper is challenging the N.C. Utilities Commission’s approval of a Progress rate increase, issued late Thursday in a 120-page order. The AG said the commissioners failed to consider the economic effect of the rate increase on Progress customers.

Groups to ramp up fight against Duke Energy rate hikes, WSOC-TV

{May 30, 2013}

Some consumer advocacy groups are ramping up their fight against Duke Energy’s proposed rate hike. On Thursday night, groups including AARP, Consumers Against Rate Hikes and Greenpeace gathered in the North Davidson area to talk about strategy and planning. The groups want to prepare people to speak at a public hearing on June 26 held by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which will decide the rate request. Their goal is to get 500 people at the meeting, which is at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse at 6 p.m.

North Carolina Utilities Commission approves rate increase for Duke Energy Progress’ North Carolina customers, PR Newswire

{May 30, 2013}

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) today approved Duke Energy Progress’ proposed settlement in the company’s request to increase electric rates for its North Carolina customers. “We are pleased the N.C. Utilities Commission has approved our settlement in this case. We believe that the settlement reflects a balance between the needs of our company and those of our customers,” said Paul Newton , Duke Energy state president – North Carolina.

Public speaks out against Duke rate increase at hearing, The Macon County News

{May 23, 2013}

On Tuesday, the public had its chance to voice any opposition they had towards Duke Energy and their proposed rate hikes. Duke Energy has proposed a 9.7 percent increase in its electric rates. The North Carolina Utilities Commission is holding hearings across the state to allow the public to have their say. Franklin was the site of one of these hearings — the only one west of Asheville — and people filled the courtroom designated for the hearing at the Macon County Court House Tuesday night.

Public, officials debate Duke Energy rate hike, McDowell News

{May 23, 2013}

Marion Mayor Steve Little said he wanted to voice his “strongest possible objection” to the rate hike. “A request for an increase of the size that we see is unconscionable,” said Little. “It is simply not reasonable. It is not fair. We are not one of the big guys. We are not rich but we get hammered.”

Duke Energy Rate Hike Webinars – May 13th and 15th

{May 9, 2013}

May 13, 1-2 p.m.: Information on Duke Rate Hikes
May 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m.: How to Tell a Compelling Story at the hearings

CARH Testimony at Duke Energy Shareholder Meeting

{May 9, 2013}

These two powerful statements — by Satana Deberry of the N.C. Housing Coalition and Patrick Cobb of AARP South Carolina — were offered as testimony at the May 2, 2013 Duke Energy shareholder meeting in Charlotte, NC.

Advocates to Duke Energy: No Rate Hikes for Dirty Fuels

{May 2, 2013}

Ratepayers and concerned North and South Carolinians gathered outside Duke Energy’s annual shareholder meeting for a teach-in to highlight community concerns. Duke Energy seeks to raise electricity prices to pay for extending the use of obsolete and dirty power plants that threaten the health of people, the environment, and the economy.

Florida Senate Clamps Down On Nuclear Cost Recovery Law

{April 26, 2013}

The Florida Senate today passed a bill that attempts, for the first time, to address the anti-consumer “early cost recovery” law passed in 2006 that allows the state’s big power companies to shift all the financial risk of building new nuclear reactors to its customers.

Florida Senate passes rewrite of nuclear advance fee

{April 26, 2013}

SB 1472 imposes new restrictions on the “early cost recovery” law passed in 2006 that allows electric companies to impose pre-construction costs for nuclear projects without any guarantee that the projects will be built. The bill passed unanimously with no discussion and will be sent to the House, which will take up a similar bill next week.

The shocking burden of $800 light bills, News & Observer

{March 30, 2013}

Op-Ed by Gene Nichol, director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the UNC School of Law
The poorest citizens in the poorest communities in North Carolina often pay the highest rates for electricity. They are required, in the process, to subsidize the services of others much wealthier than themselves. They also, in some instances, are taxed by municipalities in which they can neither vote nor run for office. The burden of crushing electricity prices thwarts economic development in much of Eastern North Carolina, the state’s poorest region…

Rep. Leo Daughtry, a veteran Republican legislator from Smithfield, has tried repeatedly to curb the wounds the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency inflicts on Eastern North Carolina. “I could tell you story after story of businesses closing down and people having to leave Smithfield because of it,” he says. “Towns can’t prosper because no one wants to pay those bills.”

Progress Energy execs grilled over price breaks for industrial customers, News & Observer

{March 18, 2013}

Last year’s merger between Progress Energy and Duke Energy came back to haunt Progress on Monday as critic after critic grilled company executives on sweetheart deals designed to spare large utility customers a rate increase.

Industrial-rate issue for Progress Energy prefigures Duke Energy rate battle in NC, Charlotte Business Journal

{March 18, 2013}

The battle that opened the hearing on Progress Energy Carolinas’ proposed 5.5% N.C. rate increase is one that will also figure in Duke Energy Carolinas’ rate review this summer — disagreement over a program the utilities have proposed to cut the power rates of large industrial customers.

Progress Energy tries to bolster case for rate increase, WRAL

{March 18, 2013}

Progress Energy called witnesses Monday to testify to the North Carolina Utilities Commission about the need for an electricity rate increase. The utility … reached an agreement in which customers would see a 5.7 percent average increase in rates over a two-year period. Progress originally requested an 11 percent increase. Although the negotiated rate is lower, it remains controversial because it would hit residential customers hardest.

Speakers want more green energy from Duke, The Charlotte Observer

{February 28, 2013}

Speakers from an overflow crowd lined up Thursday night to blast Duke Energy for relying on coal and nuclear power while investing comparatively little in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The N.C. Utilities Commission scheduled the Charlotte hearing on the 20-year growth plans filed every other year by Duke Energy Carolinas.

Florida 50+ voters say big bipartisan yes to texting-while-driving ban, beefed-up long-term care services; but no to nuke-cost recovery fees, AARP Florida

{February 8, 2013}

The AARP survey found that 59 percent of voters opposed the 2006 nuclear cost recovery law that allows for utilities to charge for nuclear projects regardless of whether they are built. Only 17 percent who responded to the survey supported the law.
HB 4003 by Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, would repeal the law. House Republican leaders support reviewing the law but have stopped short of calling for a repeal. AARP leaders expressed support for either a repeal or making changes that would increase consumer protection, such as disclosing the cost of nuclear projects on utilities’ bills.

Doing the math on Duke’s rate hike, The Charlotte Observer

{February 6, 2013}

Duke Energy Carolinas filed 5,012 pages of written testimony, data analyses and appendices Monday in support of its request for an overall 9.7 percent North Carolina rate hike. Buried in all those numbers is one that’s most relevant to most customers: 14 percent. That’s the increase the majority of residential customers are being asked to pay.

AARP targets Medicaid expansion, texting while driving and nuclear charges as legislative priorities, The Florida Current

{February 4, 2013}

Six in 10 Florida voters 50+ oppose current state laws allowing utility companies to charge consumers in advance for nuclear-power plants, which, under the law, consumers may be required to pay for even though they may never be built. Some 44 percent of those polled strongly opposed the fees, while only 5 percent strongly supported them. Again, opposition to advance nuclear cost-recovery fees cuts across party lines, with 43 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 46 percent of Democrats strongly opposing such fees.

New Centralized Nuclear Plants: Still an Investment Worth Making?, Forbes

{January 15, 2013}

Just a few years ago, the US nuclear renaissance seemed at hand. It probably shouldn’t have been.

Duke Energy wants to raise rates again, WMFY News

{January 9, 2013}

Just as you started to adjust the family budget to cover a more expensive energy bill from last year’s rate increase, Duke Energy wants to raise rates again.

Duke Energy to file for another rate increase, ABC 11

{January 8, 2013}

Duke Energy has told North Carolina utility regulators that it will ask for another rate increase soon.