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How much more will we pay for dirty energy?

You’ve probably read that Duke Energy is requesting a 17.4% rate hike for residential customers and a 14% rate hike for businesses to pay for its new nuclear and coal plants. This comes after an 8% increase last year. All the while, Duke’s profits for 2010 were $1.3 million, up 23% from 2009 and CEO Jim Rogers made $8.8 million.

If approved, this rate hike will cost the average residential household an extra $200/year. It’s time for consumers to speak out against the rate hikes and demand a new path for Duke Energy.

Cost increases for old polluting technologies such as coal and nuclear plants is causing hardship to ratepayers in our state who spend more and more of their dwindling income on utility bills. A new path for Duke Energy would focus on energy efficiency and save families money, create jobs, protect our air and water and help tackle climate change.

Energy efficiency is a cost saving measure, and according to the Rocky Mountain Institute, the country could save 30% of our current energy use through efficiency measures – and that’s huge. A new report by NC WARN shows that the top southeast utilities plan to not only replace capacity lost from closing some coal-fired power plants but add capacity through costly nuclear power, despite falling demand.

Recently, at the Charlotte hearing of the NC Utilities Commission a large crowd spoke out against the rate hikes and the proposed profit return of 11.5% which Duke is also requesting as part of the increase.

Attend a public hearing and speak out against the rate hikes:

• Marion: October 25th, 7 PM, McDowell County Courthouse

• Franklin: October 26th, 7 PM, Macon County Courthouse

• High Point: October 27th, 7 PM, Council Chambers at High Point City Hall

• Durham: November 2nd, 7 PM, Council Chambers at Durham City Hall

• Raleigh: November 28th, 1 PM, North Carolina Utilities Commission, Dobbs Building

Enough is enough. These hearings are our opportunity to not only stop the rate hikes but also change our energy future in North Carolina.

 

 

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