Customers should not be paying for Duke’s coal ash disaster. This week brings good news for North Carolina citizens. The North Carolina utility customer advocate disagrees with Duke Energy’s proposed rate hike. Instead of a 14% hike, advocate Chis Ayers recommends a hike less than a tenth of a percent. This certainly speaks volumes about Duke’s justification for the hike, and will most likely lead to a much lower increase than what the utility is asking for.
From The Charlotte Business Journal:
North Carolina’s utility customer advocate proposes all but eliminating Duke Energy Progress’ 14% rate hike, recommending that regulators cut it to an increase of less than one-tenth of a percent.
Duke’s hike had proposed an increase in the annual revenue requirement for the Raleigh-based utility by $419 million. Instead, the Public Staff of the N.C. Utilities Commission proposes that increase go up by just $2.8 million.
Chris Ayers, executive director of the Public Staff, says that his in-house experts and consultants disagree with Duke on a number of calculations, such as the proper rate of return for the company and it costs of debt and other items. Those different calculations plus variations in how much the staff thinks Duke can charge to customers for some of its expenses would bring what was proposed as a significant increase to a negligible blip to the average customer’s bill.