News

Vogtle reactors delayed until 2020?, The State

{February 2, 2015}

Environmental watchdogs predict more delays and cost overruns after Georgia Power revealed this week that its nuclear reactors under construction along the Savannah River may not come online until 2020.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

Progress Energy requests 14% rate increase for residential customers, The News & Observer

{October 12, 2012}

Progress Energy Carolinas is asking state regulators for a rate increase that would boost the average household electricity bill of its North Carolina customers by nearly $180 a year.

Credibility is hard to come by with Duke Energy, Tampa Bay Times column

{September 13, 2012}

This is not a critique of the proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County. Let the engineers, watchdogs and investors debate the details of that plan. This is about something simpler. In some ways, something far more important. This is about credibility.

Senator Mike Fasano Calls Upon Florida Public Service Commission to Follow North Carolina’s Lead

{July 17, 2012}

With the recent merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy the contentious issue of advanced nuclear cost recovery once again takes center stage.  I am pleased that the North Carolina Utilities Commission is holding Progress Energy’s feet to the fire this week as its members put Progress Energy’s former chief executive officer under the spotlight.

Institute Index: Fighting nuclear power’s money grab, Facing South

{May 31, 2012}

Date on which the Southern Co. filed a notice with federal securities regulators reporting that its project to build two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in Burke County, Ga. was experiencing massive cost overruns: 5/7/2012

Advocates ready to fight Duke-Progress over recovering nuke costs, The News & Observer

{May 16, 2012}

A dozen nonprofit advocacy groups are lining up to fight any effort to make it easier for electric utilities to raise rates to pay for nuclear plants years before the costly plants are built.

Advocates plan fight over nuke plant bill, The Charlotte Observer

{May 15, 2012}

Consumer, environmental and anti-nuclear advocates said Monday they will fight proposed state legislation allowing Duke Energy to more easily pass costs of a new nuclear plant on to N.C. customers.

A higher price tag for a nuclear project, NY Times

{May 11, 2012}

The flagship project of a hoped-for but not-yet-realized “nuclear renaissance,” the Vogtle 3 and 4 reactors under construction near Augusta, Ga., may cost about $900 million more than had been estimated, the Southern Company said in a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cost of nuclear plants raises doubts on Progress Energy’s Levy County plan, The Tampa Bay Times

{March 25, 2012}

Building a nuclear plant is not the cheapest way to keep the lights on. Not with such low natural gas prices. Not with fizzling political drive for carbon taxes. And not with soaring construction costs.

North Miami City Council passes resolution against nuclear cost recovery, Southern Energy Network

{March 15, 2012}

On Tuesday night, the North Miami City Council took an important step in standing up for citizen’s rights by passing a resolution against early cost recovery legislation, intended to incentivize nuclear power in the State by putting the burden on the ratepayers.