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Thursday, October 27, 2011

NC Public Utilities Hearing in Franklin on Proposed Rate Increase by Duke Energy Carolinas

The NC Utilities Commission held a Public Hearing on the Proposed Duke Energy Rate Hike at the Macon Co Courthouse in Courtroom A on Oct 26 at 7pm.

Duke Energy is proposing to increase electrical rates for residents by 17%, commercial and industrial customers by 15%, and street lighting by 8%.

The Commission has suspended the proposed rate changes and has scheduled the application for investigation and hearing.

Persons who desire to present testimony for the record should appear at one of the public hearings. Persons who desire to send written statements to inform the Commission of their positions in the matter should address their statements to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4325, and reference Docket No. E-7, Sub 989. However, such written statements cannot be considered competent evidence unless those persons appear at the hearing and testify concerning the information contained in their written statements.

I attended the public hearing on the proposed rate increase by Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, henceforth known by the name Duke Power, last night in the Macon County Courthouse and recorded the video embedded above of the proceedings.

The big courtroom was filled with people upset about the proposed rate hike, and many of them signed up to give testimony against Duke Power. Most of them were what I would identify as lefties, some residing in the same ideological neighborhood as Karl Marx. There were a couple of people whom I would identify as conservatives testifying against the rate increase. Of course, it was a church night, and that limited the number of people on the conservative side of the aisle who might have testified against the rate increase.

Most of the people who offered testimony against the rate hike offered various versions of the bad economy, high unemployment, people on low and/or fixed income would be hit the hardest by a proposed 17% increase in their electric bill. Many of the far left people pointed out that the CEO of Duke, Larry Rogers redceived what they identified as excessive compensation around $8 million. Some mentioned that Duke Power had a profit last year of over $1 billion. A couple of people offered up the recent 'Occupy Wall Street' movement as proof that the days of capitalism were numbered and one guy pointed out that the violence in Oakland should serve as a warning to Duke Power.

Many of the speakers were passionate and eloquent in their testimony, a few seemed to lack the utility of being able to rub two wrods together in a coherent fashion.

There was no testimony given by Duke Power (save at that of Fred Alexander of the local Duke office) as the public hearing was designed to receive input from the public. You can see the reasoning behind the request for the rate increase by Duke Power on their website.

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