Duke Energy To Trim Proposed Rate Increase

5:34 PM, Nov 19, 2011   |    comments
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Durham, NC -- Duke Energy is trimming its proposed North Carolina rate increase from 15 percent to 12 percent.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the utility's North Carolina president Brett Carter outlined the plans Thursday in a filing to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

We emailed Duke Energy on November 21 to get a breakdown of how much 12% would cost you. Spokeswoman Betsy Alley responded, "At this time, allocations by customer group are not available as we have been focused on other aspects of the case and the timing of the upcoming holidays (this means I don't have a $ for the average home number to provide). Percentage allocations by customer group will be available by the evidentiary hearing, which will begin Nov. 28."

The deal also includes plans to donate $15 million to help low-income customers.

More than 1,100 comments have been filed with the commission in the past two months. The commission's public staff has recommended the hike be cut by two-thirds, and executive director Robert Gruber said the utility's latest offer was unacceptable.

Conway tells us the company decided to decrease its request because, "In ongoing conversations with customers, including listening to testimony at the public hearings and reading comments filed with the commission, we continue to hear concern about implementing a rate increase in this challenging economy. Duke Energy recognizes that the timing for the rate increase is unfortunate, but necessary given the prudent investments already made on behalf of its customers. In response, we have proposed reducing the amount of the proposed increase and we have proposed our customer response plan. A link to the rebuttal testimony of Brett Carter - President, Duke Energy North Carolina is below. Pages 2-7 outline the company's customer response plan, which includes the $15 million for low income assistance."

Duke is seeking a similar 15 percent increase for South Carolina customers. A consumer advocacy agency there has recommended that Duke get only a 5.8 percent increase.

 

AP

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