* The Duke Energy rate hike is an environmental, social justice, and financial issue

The Duke Energy rate hike is an environmental, social justice, and financial issue. We all have a stake in telling Duke Energy and the NC Utilities Commission that Cleaner is Cheaper. We all have a stake in assuring that the rates are fair and equitable. We all have a stake in our own monthly bills and the health of our local and state economy.

Duke Energy is seeking a nearly 14% rate increase for the average household and up to 10.7% from small and medium-sized businesses.  This will be Duke’s third increase in four years which continues to place profits before people – especially those with low and fixed incomes – while providing the world’s largest power company an excessive, monopoly-guaranteed profit of 11.25%.

Even as electricity demand is flat for residential and small businesses, Duke Energy is promoting additional power plants so they can increase their profits. Evidence shows that additional power plants are not needed if energy efficiency technologies are implemented in our energy policy. Furthermore, the playing field must be leveled so that rates for residential and small-medium business customers are not higher than those granted to big businesses and corporations. While rates for residential, small and medium-sized businesses would jump by double-digits, the already-low rates for many large industrial and data center customers would increase by only 3%.

Environmental Issues

  • Dirty energy plan to pay for Dan River Combined Cycle Natural Gas burning plant in Eden, N.C. ($673 million), Cliffside Coal Fired plant Unit 6 in Mooresboro, N.C. ($863 million), Oconee Nuclear Station, Oconee County, S.C. ($448 million), and McGuire Nuclear Station, Mecklenburg County, N.C. ($203 million).
  • Zero dollars for NC solar and NC wind
  • No requested funds to contain leakage and discharge from coal ash ponds
  • No requested funds to address climate change and health impacts of dirty energy
  • Continued reliance on burning coal (air quality)
  • Pollution of the Catawba River and other river basins, drought impact.
  • Mountain Top Removal (MTR) coal – mismanagement of coal inventory and special rider
  • Nuclear expansion without dealing with long term spent fuel storage safety and costs
  • Poor nuclear track record – Shearon Harris crack, Catawba leak, Crystal River debacle, Levy mismanagement
  • Requested $14 million for increased tree and vegetation management

Social Justice Issues

  • Rate hike will disproportionately impact those that can least afford it – seniors and others on fixed income, un/under-employed, students, etc.
  • Small business owners will be hit the hardest with increases in the personal residence and business electric bills
  • Communities of color and low income citizens with poor housing stock will be disproportionately impacted
  • A 45% increase in the residential basic service charge is excessive
  • The Duke monopoly gives us no option to “take our business elsewhere” as we can with our phone service
  • Duke’s advertising and lobbying efforts against policies for the public good is unacceptable
  • Duke Energy corporate power enables it to pay no Federal income tax while paying Jim Rogers $8.7 million in 2012

Pocketbook Issues

  • Requesting excessive 11.25% guaranteed Return on Equity (ROE) in extremely low interest rate period – an excessive guarantee profit
  • If the request is approved, residential rates will have risen by 30%.
  • Requesting a 13.9% increase for the average residential ratepayer. Duke is asking for a 45% increase in the residential basic service charge for residential customers. Average monthly residential bills would increase by 11.6% to 44.2% depending on usage.
  • Requesting an 8.6% to 9.2% rate increase for small business owners (Small General Service rate)
  • Requesting a 5.3% increase for industrial customers
  • Requesting a 5.4% increase for lighting (a big cost for municipalities)
  • A new residential rate schedule that penalizes energy efficiency and conservation
  • Rate hike will increase the costs of goods and services across the economy.
  • This excessive rate will impact new jobs and startups as NC loses it competitive advantage of low electric rates
  • This increase will impact city, county and school budgets and will increase taxes to ratepayers
  • Duke is requesting a bail-out, an interest free loan for coal inventory, storm expenses, and nuclear decommissioning

Rally, Press Conference, and Public Hearing

June 26 (Wed)

5:00 PM Rally and Press ConferenceHearing Begins at 6:00 PM

Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Courtroom 5310

832 East 4th Street, Charlotte, NC

Won’t you join us on June 26 at 5:00 PM for a peaceful rally and press conference at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse? Will you add your voice to thousands of others that have already spoken out and testify at the hearing? It’s time for us to stand together and protect our Planet, our Pocketbook, and our People. Please join me next Wednesday and bring your friends, neighbors and family.

Thank you for joining this movement. See you there!

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