Duke Energy wants more money -- from you

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According to Forbes.com, the Charlotte energy company experienced billion dollar profits last year. Apparently that's not enough, though — the company needs an average of $132 more, per homeowner per year so it can upgrade its plants.

Household electric rates would rise 13.5 percent for Duke Energy's 1.8 million North Carolina customers under a request filed Tuesday with state regulators.

The rate increase -- an average of $11 a month for homeowners -- would be Duke's first since 1991, but it's not assured that the N.C. Utilities Commission will agree to it. The last time Duke sought an increase, in 2007, the commission instead lowered rates.

Much has changed since then, Duke says. The company says it will have spent $4.8 billion on upgrades to its plants between 2006 and this September, lending new urgency for more revenue.

Duke's requested rate increases would bring the company $496 million more a year.

Read more at Charlotte.com.

Here's a report from Jan. 2008 where Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was accused of buying support for rate hikes through an alleged dummy corporation:

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