Progress Rate Hike to Further Burden Residential, Small Business and Municipalities

{posted on: October 12, 2012}

Raleigh, NC. Progress Energy Carolinas customers have seen their monthly electricity bills steadily increase over time as the utility increased rates by 25% due to fuel adjustment charges. Now residential customers are being asked to shoulder an additional 14.2% for a base rate increase (with a smaller increase for commercial and industrial customers). This is despite the fact that since 1988 Progress Energy has benefited from a guaranteed return on shareholder equity of a remarkable 12.75%.

Carley Ruff, Policy and Outreach Coordinator for the North Carolina Housing Coalition, expressed their concern about a 14.2% rate increase, “Progress has been making 12.75% at the expense of low and middle income people, now they want to raise our rates even further. This will mean more foreclosures, more disconnects in the winter, more small businesses failing, and tighter school budgets”.

Jim Rogers, C.E.O. of the new combined Duke Energy, has been quoted that “[T]here’s a tsunami of capital expenditures heading our way.” In a long period of decreasing demand coupled with excess generation capacity, Consumers Against Rate Hikes is very concerned that ratepayers will be excessively burdened and that new businesses and new jobs will be lost through the serial rate hikes planned by Duke and Progress.

Consumers Against Rate Hikes calls upon the North Carolina Utilities Commission and the North Carolina Public Staff to thoroughly investigate the impact the requested rate hike would have on ratepayers, especially low and middle income residential customers, small businesses and municipalities

###

Consumers Against Rate Hikes (CARH) is a nonpartisan coalition of nonprofit organizations, faith-based communities, businesses, and individuals concerned about the impact of an Annual Rate Hike Bill that would, if passed by the NC legislature, give Duke and Progress Energy Corporations a blank check to raise our rates every year. Those rate hikes would dramatically drive up rates for our seniors, families, schools, towns and businesses. It would hurt our struggling economy and cost us jobs. Duke and Progress Energy Corporations want the legislature to pass an Annual Rate Hike Bill to shift the risk and cost burden to consumers because they can’t get Wall Street to gamble on their financially risky power plant construction plans. For more information see Consumers Against Rate Hikes at www.ConsumersAgainstRateHikes.org.

.