North Carolina AG to appeal Duke rate ruling

May 31: “This order puts utility profits ahead of people. It talks about how much consumers are hurting but sticks them with higher rates anyway. A true analysis of the effect on struggling consumers as required by the North Carolina Supreme Court should result in lower rates so we plan to appeal this ruling.”

 Background: The North Carolina Utilities Commission late yesterday approved a 7.5 percent increase in utility rates for consumers who get their power from Duke Energy Progress, formerly Progress Energy. Cooper had opposed the rate increase before the Commission and now plans to appeal it to the NC Supreme Court.

Cooper recently appealed a 7.2 percent rate increase by Duke Energy all the way to the NC Supreme Court, saying that consumers must be taken into account when setting utility profit margins and evaluating requests for rate increases. In a ruling issued April 12, the Supreme Court ordered the Utilities Commission to determine the impact on consumers before setting an allowable profit margin and agreeing to raise rates.

Cooper believes that Supreme Court ruling should serve as a guide for the Utilities Commission in considering all rate hike requests, and that the Commission’s decision to approve the Progress rate increase doesn’t adequately consider the impact on consumers.

 Media contact:  Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413