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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Progress Energy says it has asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission for a rate increase the company says would push residential bills up an average of 14.2 percent.

Progress Energy says the overall 12 percent increase, which would generate an estimated $387 million a year, is needed to offset higher operating expenses and the cost of building state-of-the-art, low-emission power plants.

The energy company says the proposed increase would raise residential rates more than commercial and industrial rates, more accurately reflecting the cost of serving residential customers.

“One way or another, they are going to extract the money from you and we all have to pay for our energy don’t we,” Progress Energy customer Rich Lehrer said.

The total net residential increase, as proposed, would average 14.2 percent. The bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month would increase to $119.94 from the current $105.15. That includes an increase in the standard customer charge to $13.50 per month from the current $6.75.

Customer Oliver Young said, “It really just makes it harder for me. I work a blue collar job. It’s just tough, you know.”

The average net increase for commercial and industrial customers would be about nine percent.

The largest portion of the request is for investments made to modernize the power system. Progress Energy Carolinas is retiring 12 coal-fired units at five sites and replacing them with natural-gas-fueled plants, including in Wilmington.

But with Progress also running a nuclear plant in our area, Lehrer doesn’t understand why bills would go up.

“It doesn’t make sense for everyone here in Wilmington when in fact we’re nuclear energy. We’re already low emissions, so it seems to me that we are paying for what they’re having to do somewhere else,” Lehrer said.

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28 Comments on "Progress Energy requests rate hike; residents sound off"

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Guestof Reason
2016 years 2 months ago

1. How many of these coal fired plants are outside Progress Energy’s territory before the merger?
2. Why is the justification for DOUBLING the standard customer charge?
3. Why should we continue (yes, look at your current bill) to pay a premium for “Renewable Energy”, most of which is sent out of state?

REPS* Charge: These are costs incurred for acquiring electric generation from renewable energy and
energy-efficiency resources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass and other sources. The REPS charge
is reviewed annually by the NCUC and adjusted to reflect changes in the actual costs incurred.
*REPS stands for… Read more »

2016 years 2 months ago

Easy second job. Typical reply from a government employee. I left state government after 17 years because of pay. When I did work for the state I got approved for secondary employment to meet my financial obligations.

Guest Republican
2016 years 2 months ago

Well, you do have a choice in the matter. You can either work for a different employer or cut out a trip to McDonalds or maybe just maybe not living above your means?

2016 years 2 months ago

A rate increase for what? CEO and VP’s need bigger bonuses. It cost big money to have vacation homes, Mercedes, yachts and girlfriends. So how else to pay for it. Hey the middle class is always getting the shaft and there is nothing they can do about it. Because we do not show up at the voting booths with enough strength to rule. We are the majority or used to be. Maybe with Obama the poor are the majority. When we use our inherent power to vote in who will really protect… Read more »

Citizen of the Republic
2016 years 2 months ago

They always ask for twice as much as the North Carolina Utilities Commission will give them.

They get half of the increase, the Commission gets to thump their chest, and proclaim a battle won for the people.

Then, when the Commissioners leave, they go to work for the industry.

Also, where are the profits. They want the increase to modernize the plants. How much are they spending out of profits to keep things up to date.

Wonder what would happen if they received a 0% increase like most people.

Things are really looking poorly for North Carolina and for America.

Energy prices ^
Homeowners ins… Read more »

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