Thursday, July 26, 2012

Duke drops industry rate-break plan

The N.C. Utilities Commission this week let Duke Energy withdraw its plan to offer industrial and commercial customers a temporary 6 percent rate cut.

Duke floated the idea in May, saying some of its biggest customers were struggling. The one-year test program would have cost Duke shareholders $13 million.

As part of a 7 percent N.C. rate hike in January, Duke had agreed to donate $11 million of shareholder money to help low-income residents with their energy bills.

NC WARN, the Durham advocacy group that frequently fights Duke, protested help for big customers. WARN argued the program was a "kickback scheme" intended to win support for its merger with Progress Energy. The commission's Public Staff, which advocates for consumers, investigated but took no immediate position.

Last week Duke withdrew the plan. It cited "overwhelming interest from customers" who collectively asked for more aid than Duke had budgeted. Duke said it will continue to look for ways to help customers with their energy bills.


Anonymous said...

How bout repeal Sen Bill 3? SC rates will be much cheaper than NC in 10y w/o federal renewable portfolio std!

Anonymous said...

More of Duke's bait and switch?