No solution from panel studying NC city power debt

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Submitted: Thu, 03/08/2012 - 2:27am
Updated: Thu, 03/08/2012 - 2:29am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A legislative committee examining why
electric rates for 30 eastern North Carolina municipalities are so
high says more study is needed on the debt that causes eye-popping
power bills and whether a solution can be found.

Chairmen of the panel released a draft of its recommendations
Wednesday. They didn’t include which direction the towns and cities
should go to reduce or eliminate the $2.1 billion they owe on power
plant investments 30 years ago.

Co-chairman Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson said there wasn’t much
time for the committee to offer solutions before the Legislature
reconvenes in May. He said more eyes are needed on the problem the
Legislature last examined in depth in the late 1990s.

Average electric costs are roughly 20 to 50 percent higher for
the municipal customers.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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