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Cooper seeks stay of Duke Energy rate increase

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina's attorney general is asking a regulatory panel to stay a rate increase for Duke Energy that the state Supreme Court rejected earlier this month.

Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a motion Monday asking the N.C. Utilities Commission to stay the 7.2 percent increase that it granted in January 2012. The increase raised electricity rates for 1.8 million households and businesses and would generate an extra $309 million in annual revenue for Duke.

In the motion, Cooper says the commission should return customers to the old rates since the court has overturned the increase.

Cooper also appealed the increase to the state Supreme Court, which said the commission didn't adequately consider the increase's negative impact on consumers.

A Duke Energy spokeswoman says the company is reviewing Cooper's motion.

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