Duke Energy executive defends proposed rate hike - WNCT

Duke Energy executive defends proposed rate hike

Posted: Updated:
Paul Newton Paul Newton
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Duke Energy's North Carolina president answered questions Monday about a possible rate increase for more than one million customers. 

Paul Newton faced the State Utilities Commission on Monday during the first day of evidentiary hearings to consider whether rate changes are necessary.

Duke wants to increase rates fore 1.1 million Progress Energy customers in North Carolina by a total of about 5.7 percent.  The company wants a 4.7 percent increase to take effect in one year, followed by an additional 1 percent increase in the second year.  But Duke also wants to cut rates for some industrial customers by about 4 percent as a part of a 5-year pilot program following years of declining industrial revenues.

"The company proposed this rider as a means to retain jobs and better the economy of North Carolina," Newton said.

But critics say the increase will allow Duke Energy to maintain a large profit margin at a time when families continues to struggle.  Duke estimates the increase will result in a 10.2 percent return on equity for investors.

"They're trying to give big users a decrease while they're trying to jack up small users, families and small businesses by over 10 percent," said Jim Warren, executive vice president of NC Warn.

NC Warn is an advocacy group that aims to promote clean energy.

Duke originally wanted a more than 14 percent increase on residential customers, but reached a settlement with the utilities commission.  As part of that settlement, Duke will also set aside $20 million for job training and to help low-income families pay their electric bills.  

The evidentiary hearings are expected to last for several days with a decision on the increase coming sometime later on.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:18:26 GMT
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.