MEDIA ADVISORY: North Carolina Utilities Commission To Hold Hearing on Duke Energy Progress Rate Increase

RALEIGH (November 27, 2017) — The North Carolina Utilities Commission will hold a trial-type evidentiary hearing beginning Monday, November 27, on Duke Energy Progress’ proposal to increase its rates and mandatory fees. The Commission will first hear testimony from Duke representatives, and then from expert witnesses for groups opposing the rate and fee increases, including the North Carolina Justice Center, the North Carolina Housing Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

WHAT: Hearing on Duke Energy Progress rate increase
WHEN: Beginning on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: North Carolina Utilities Commission Hearing Room 2115, Dobbs Building, 430 North Salisbury Street in Raleigh

Click here for more background.

Duke Energy Progress has requested a $477.5 million increase—including a large mandatory fee increase—in the amount the utility can collect from its customers each year through rates and fees. Under Duke’s proposed increase, residential customers’ electricity rates would go up by nearly 17 percent (an increase of about $17.80 per month for a typical customer’s bill). This includes a 75 percent increase in the monthly “basic customer charge,” which would increase from $11.13 to $19.50. Last week, DEP and the utility consumer advocate agency reached a settlement that would reduce the mandatory fixed charge to $14.00/month; however, the Commission is not bound to accept the settlement and DEP has not withdrawn its original proposal.

This fixed, mandatory fee would be added to each customer’s monthly bill regardless of how much electricity that customer uses. Mandatory fees like the one proposed by Duke in this case disproportionately impact low-income households and diminish customers’ incentive to save energy and invest in rooftop solar. The NC Justice Center, NC Housing Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, have intervened in the case to oppose the mandatory fee increase and advocate for energy efficiency as a way to help households manage their energy use.

###

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Gudrun Thompson, 919-810-1856, gthompson@selcnc.org