Duke Energy Carolinas’ Proposed 17% Rate Increase for Fossil Fuels Will Overburden Disparate Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 20, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT
Brittany L. Griffin, CleanAIRE NC, (704)-610-8220, [email protected]

Duke Energy Carolinas’ Proposed 17% Rate Increase for Fossil Fuels Will Overburden Disparate Communities

Charlotte, N.C. – Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC), the second largest utility company in the United States, applied for a nearly 17% rate hike on household utility bills to cover the rising cost of fossil fuels to generate electricity.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC), the regulatory agency that oversees rates and services, is now seeking public feedback on DEC’s proposed rate hike through a series of public hearings across North Carolina over the next few months, including one in Charlotte this week.

A Charlotte Public Witness Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 22 at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in uptown Charlotte beginning at 7 PM. Local and surrounding area residents will show up in support of clean affordable energy.

Public Hearing: Duke Energy’s Rate Increase
Thursday, June 22nd at 7pm
Mecklenburg County Courthouse
832 East 4th Street
Courtroom 5350
Charlotte, NC 28202
Docket No. E-7 Sub 1276

Prior to the hearing, there will be a rally at 5 PM and press conference at 6 PM in the front lawn of the courthouse for a collective call on state regulators to reject Duke Energy’s rate increase. Supporters will be wearing black T-shirts to express solidarity.

If approved by the NCUC, residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month would see an increase of 16.6% to 16.2% by September 1, followed by 0.4% on January 1. The rates will continue to increase over a three-year span. Community members will play a pivotal role in the decision-making process, influencing whether the outcome is supportive of a sustainable energy future that prioritizes affordability and environmental responsibility.

For example, the average household electricity bill in North Carolina would increase as follows:

  • Stage 1: Jan. 1, 2024, a monthly increase of $12.54 from $115.01 to $127.55
  • Stage 2: Jan. 1, 2025, a monthly increase of $3.90 from $127.55 to $131.45
  • Stage 3: Jan. 1, 2026, a monthly increase of $3.18 from $131.45 to $134.63

This means that by 2026, the average annual residential electric bill will be $240 higher than it is today. A minimum-wage resident would have to work an additional two weeks each year to afford this.

Expenditures of this magnitude place an unfair burden on households already facing financial challenges in an inflationary economy, particularly low-income and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities.

Commercial and industrial customers would also experience an increase of 15.2% and 12.1%.

If you cannot attend the hearing in person, the North Carolina Utilities Commission is accepting written comments either online or via mail.

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About CLEANAIRE NC
CleanAIRE NC is a statewide nonprofit organization advocating for the health of all North Carolinians by pursuing equitable and collaborative solutions that address climate change and air pollution.

www.cleanAIREnc.org

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