NC Utilities Commission

Duke Energy/Flickr

A utility sales tax hike in North Carolina is set to take effect in July.  That means your bill will go up.  But first the utilities commission must decide whether to help offset that increase by decreasing rates.  The state’s consumer advocate wants the commission to do that because taxes are going down for Duke Energy. 


Is Duke Rate Hike Settlement A Deal Or A Dupe?

Jun 13, 2013

Duke Energy has struck a deal with the state's top utility customer advocate that, on the surface, seems like a pretty good deal for ratepayers. But some advocacy groups wonder if we're being played.

A pattern is emerging: Two years in a row, Duke Energy has come in asking for a big rate hike - 9.7 percent in this latest case - only to turn around a few months later and settle for an increase half as big. 

"You know, this is the game," says Jim Warren, of the advocacy group NC WARN.

The North Carolina Supreme Court has ordered state utility regulators to go back and reconsider the rate hike it granted Duke Energy last year.  Specifically, the court says North Carolina Utilities Commissioners failed to consider how the increase would affect customers in the midst of an economic downturn.


Duke's 2012 Earnings Bolstered By Higher Rates

Feb 13, 2013
Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy reported modest earnings for 2012 of about $3 per share – but the number would have been much lower if Duke hadn't raised electric rates in the Carolinas by 7 percent last year. WFAE's Julie Rose reports on this classic case of conflicting interests – where pain for ratepayers means profit for investors:

McCrory Could Re-shape NC Utilities Regulation

Jan 10, 2013

Governor Pat McCrory has been busy in recent weeks filling his cabinet and top staff positions. And in at least three cases he's appointed former colleagues from his 28 years working at Duke Energy. That's led some to worry McCrory will follow the same pattern when he turns his attention to four impending vacancies at the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which is Duke Energy's primary regulator in the state. WFAE's Julie Rose takes a look now at this regulatory body McCrory has the opportunity to radically reshape.

CORRECTION APPENDED

Duke Shuffles Executives

Dec 18, 2012
Duke Energy

Another Progress Energy executive is out at Duke Energy in the latest personnel shuffle of the merged companies.  A Duke Energy spokesman says changes required in a settlement with North Carolina utility regulators sparked a "domino effect."  

Seven top executives are shifting titles and roles in what resembles a game of musical chairs.

Duke CEO To Retire In Settlement With Regulators

Nov 30, 2012

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers will step down sometime next year as part of a settlement announced late yesterday that would resolve an investigation of the company's merger with Progress Energy. Angry North Carolina utility regulators launched the investigation when Duke's  board abruptly fired the man they'd promised would lead the merged company - Progress CEO Bill Johnson.

WFAE's Julie Rose joined Morning Edition Host Duncan McFadyen to sort through the settlement.

MCFADYEN: So Julie, is Duke admitting it was wrong to fire Johnson like that and keep Rogers on as CEO?

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