On Friday, the N.C. Utilities Commission approved two orders involving Duke Energy’s two electric subsidiaries in the state over rate increases requested back in 2019 and a settlement announced in January by Duke Energy, Attorney General Josh Stein and a conservation group over how coal ash clean-up cost.
According to the Triad Business Journal, the commission approved “what is likely about a 5.5% rate hike for Duke Energy Progress, cutting the request for a 12.3%, $445.3 million increase to something around $300 million”.
Under the settlement approved by the commission, Duke Energy agreed to pay over $1 billion to recycle the ash and close the plants producing them, but the amount covered by the company’s 3.4 million customers would be reduced from the previous $4 billion through 2030 to $3 billion.
The approved rate hikes comes as about 435,000 people are already at risk of eviction statewide due to the financial devastation COVID-19 has caused. While many are struggling to choose between rent, utilities and food, Duke Energy has been approved to impose additional increases on its customers.
Bottom Line: For far too long, Duke Energy has gotten away with making North Carolinians foot the bill. Especially during a pandemic that has financially impacted many to the point of facing eviction, North Carolinians shouldn’t pay for the irresponsible management of a company that reportedly has paid no corporate taxes on the $7.9 billion it made in profit over the last three years.