Raleigh, NC -- North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper detailed his opposition to Duke Energy's proposed rate increase in a filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission on Monday.
Cooper said, "Utilities commissioners should heed the economic damage to North Carolina consumers before signing off Duke Energy's rate increase."
Cooper went on to say, "The commission should come down on the side of consumers when considering a fair rate of return for Duke, especially the economy."
Cooper's Consumer Protection Division intervened in the rate case and questioned Duke Energy's experts in November. During that hearing, attorney's with Cooper's office questioned whether experts who calculated the rate of return to Duke Energy shareholders also took "changing economic conditions" into account.
Earlier this year, Duke Energy applied to the Utilities Commission to request that the company be allowed to increase its revenues by approximately $646 million. That earnings increase would be passed along to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills. If approved by the Utilities Commission, the proposed rate hike would have raised the average Duke customer's monthly bill by approximately 17 percent.
Hundreds of North Carolinians have written to Cooper asking for help and expressing their concern about higher electricity costs, according to the Attorney General.
The Attorney General's Office has filed copies of the letters with the Clerk for the Utilities Commission so that commissioners will be aware of consumers' views on the proposed increase.