N.C. AG says rate hike will hurt residents

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 4, 2011, 12:00pm


RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said Thursday his office has intervened in a case over a proposed increase to electricity rates.

The attorney general, in opposing Duke Energy's proposal to raise its rates, said he plans to participate in a hearing scheduled for Nov. 28 before the state utilities commission.

"There's never a good time to see your utility bill go up, but a sharp increase right now would really make it hard for many North Carolina families to make ends meet," Cooper said in a statement.

The electric company requested last year that it be allowed to up its revenues by about $646 million. That increase, of course, would have to be passed along to its customers.

If approved by the utilities commission, Duke's rate hike would raise a customer's monthly bill by about 17 percent.

In many cases, that's at least $20 extra a month.

Cooper said "dozens" of residents have written to him, angry over the proposed increase.

The attorney general said he has filed copies of the letters with the utilities commission so it is well aware of consumers' feelings on the issue.

"I would urge the utilities commission and Duke Energy to listen to consumers and treat them fairly," he said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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