Duke Monopoly

Duke Monopoly

Duke is looking for some major coin to upgrade their grid and clean up coal ash.  Since they only make money charging consumers for energy, get ready for the rate hike…

A $13 billion electric grid upgrade would boost Duke Energy electric rates in North Carolina well beyond the 16.7 percent base rate increase the company asked state regulators to approve last year.

Duke’s North Carolina president testified Wednesday that this additional rider would boost rates another 1.5 percent every year, give or take, for 10 years.

That adds up to an additional 16 percent increase to pay for the grid, and since businesses pay a lower rate than residential customers, residential customers would see actually impacts up to 25 percent by the end of the decade.

And that’s after factoring in expected savings Duke has proposed to pass along to customers from a recent cut in the federal corporate tax rate. WRAL

Amazing that the a 25% rate hike is AFTER they accounted for the 20% income tax cut for the company.  This is a hotly contested debate as many of the marketing and philanthropic costs are now coming into question (and rightfully so).  The good news is that even if they get their big hike of 25% it is not going to happen all at once.  Based on previous decisions it is clear that regulators want Duke to phase these costs in as they incur.  This will provide some relief, but a 25% rate hike is a lot of money leaving the economy for a public good that we already pay for.

Exit Question: Will all these questions about marketing and charitable giving give the General Assembly courage to truly make the energy sector or will it continue in it’s monopoly ways?

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