North Carolina AG files brief opposing Duke Energy rate increase

North Carolina Attorney General opposes Duke Energy Carolinas rate increase

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a brief Tuesday with the North Carolina Utilities Commission opposing a rate increase by Duke Energy Carolinas (NYSE: DUK), saying the state’s consumers cannot afford another increase in electricity bills.

The rate increase request from Duke Energy Carolinas would increase rates by 4.5 percent for the first two years, increasing to a 5.1 percent rate hike after that. According to a statement from Cooper’s office, the increase would come after a 7.2 percent increase for Duke Energy customers put in place earlier this year that Cooper “fought successfully to the North Carolina Supreme Court and is continuing to oppose.”

According to Cooper’s office, the brief does not focus “on whether Duke Energy should be allowed to recover its investment, but on whether it should be allowed to raise customers’ rates in order to make a 10.2 percent shareholder profit and a capital structure of 53 percent equity in this challenging economic climate.”

The total amount of the rate increase is $205 million a year for the first two years, increasing to $235 million a year after that.

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