Winston-Salem, N.C. -- Duke Energy is proposing a rate increase that will affect customers in the Triad. The company says the increase is needed to cover the cost of replacing and upgrading older and inefficient facilities.
"It's never a good time for a rate case. We know the economy is down, but we are at the point where we have made these investments and it's time to start recovering them," Duke Energy spokesperson Jimmy Flythe said. "The rate of electricity has risen very slowly. What we're paying for electricity today, when you adjust for inflation, is less than what you were paying for electricity in 1991."
The company recently came to an agreement with the North Carolina Public Staff that would amount to a total average increase of about 5.1 percent. Duke originally asked for a 9.7 percent increase.
However, the NC Utilities Commission must approve any increase. An opening hearing will take place Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Forsyth County Courthouse. A protest rally/demonstration is planned for 5:30 p.m.
Community Organizer Valerie Warren said, "I just hope that we can get a word through to the Utility Commission and to the government to stop this crazy cycle. Why do hundreds of people have to show up just to get something in our interest?"
WFMY News 2