Opposition to Duke and Progress Energy’s joint rate hike request keeps growing. On Monday, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper told the N.C. Utilities Commission that the state Department of Justice is opposed to the 7.2 percent rate increase, saying this is not the time to burden struggling North Carolinians with another rate increase (Duke had an increase in 2009).
Now, as ProgressivePulse reports, NC WARN, the N.C. Justice Center, and the N.C. Housing Coalition — all liberal groups, just in case our internet trollers are slow to realize it (gentlemen, start your ranting!) — say the rate hike is a terrible idea. The groups point out that the rate hike would be unfair to residential customers, and most business customers, because the way Duke Energy determines rates gives a huge advantage (at other customers’ cost) to some of the state’s worst energy hogs. As the groups note, energy glutton companies, like Facebook and Google data centers, already get a lot of help from the state in the form of tax breaks and incentives, and will be eligible for another 20 percent discount on their 2012 bills. Here’s the key fact: “In 2010, Duke’s data center customers paid on average about 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity, while residential customers paid almost 9 cents.” Now, Duke is asking to raise the main residential rate to over 10.5 cents per kWh.
As a previous ProgressivePulse headline so succinctly put it, why pay more when energy hogs don’t? Let the Utilities Commission know how you feel about Duke Energy’s unfair rate allocation by calling them at 919-733-4249.