Hearing on Progress rate hike sparks interest

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Submitted: Wed, 02/20/2013 - 3:34am
Updated: Wed, 02/20/2013 - 1:37pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Utility Commission held a public hearing in Wilmington Tuesday night, the topic, increase electric bills for nearly 2 million Progress Carolina customers.

Visitors to the North Carolina Utility Commission public hearing were greeted by well-organized protesters.

Inside the meeting was much more sedate, with people speaking before the commission on both sides of the issue.

Jeff Brooks with Progress Energy explained why his company is asking for an almost 10 percent increase.

“We know there is never a good time for a rate increase, and we’re very conscious of that in the economy today,” Brooks said. “But we have made significant investments to retire our older, less efficient coal units in North Carolina, and we’re replacing them with cleaner burning natural gas units.”

Some question not just the increase but this whole process.

“Is this the Utilities Commission that is actually going to decide this?” Gerrick Brenner with the organization Progress NC asked. “After Bill Rabon jams this bill through the legislature, is Pat McCrory going to be able to replace every single member of the Utilities Commission after he worked for 29 years at Duke Energy?”

This is one of several hearings that the commission will hold across the state before ruling on the rate increase.

As for the commission, Senate Bill 10 is not law yet, but it could affect boards and commissions across the state.


  • Guest00000 says:

    McCrory is a former Duke employee. His Republican backed State House just propsed legislation that will end the committee that oversees Public Utilities in NC. There is a 100% chance that this rate increase happens. We voted this mess in, and now it’s time to pay the piper. Just hope you have a job. They just cut unemployment benefits too. So now you can be unemployed, hungry AND COLD.

  • fourcountystinks says:

    Be thankful you have progress to begin with because even with a 10% increase it would still be less than Four County Monopoly (oops i meant Co-op). Had to call Four county they dont even list their rates on the website. Four County 10.865 per kilowatt hour and Progress is 9.35 per kilowatt hour. At least progress had their rates listed easy for everyone to see. Just be thankful if you have progress because Four county service sucks and their rates are ridiculous. We should have a choice. Competition is good for EVERYONE!

  • Guest2013 says:

    Where is the $650 million in savings to customers.Is there any Antitrust violations here? http://www.wwaytv3.com/2012/06/29/nc-regulators-clear-hurdle-to-duke-progress-merger

  • reller42 says:

    My wife and I both are retired mainly living off our social security pensions. I was an hourly for 33 years with a local company and the hourly employees get very little in retirement pensions. True it is better than those that get none but everyone thinks retirees from this company receive huge pensions. Not true of hourly employees. That being said just wanted to point out the we have cut our thermostat down by five degrees and more this winter. We now cannot sit around and watch TV at night without having a throw over us. Seems I am cold most of the time when the temperatures are low outside. At my age I just don’t see how we can lower the thermostat any lower. But with a rate increase to the Power Co. that is exactly what we will have to do. It just appears to me the more folks try to conserve thus saving on creating large power bills then the company wants to ‘gain’ back by raising the rates. So again when we once again have to lower our thermostat if (when) they get their rate increase then they in turn will say we aren’t getting enough profit and ask for higher rates again. Seems like a no-win situation for the consumers that have to conserve just to live.
    It appears we may eventually have to wear our winter coats inside as temperatures drop outside. I am sure the people that are able to pay these increases and don’t fight them are thinking NO ONE could be in that situation. Yes, it’s true. We exsist.

  • Guest7969 says:

    If its that much more efficient..then you should recoup the cost of the upgrade. Just a greedy rate increase is all this is! If passed the will recoup the cost AND be making much larger profits on the other side. It’s kinda like the insurance companies did. Raised rates on the premise of paying for hurricanes..THEN added a “hurricane deductable” …which is a SCAM

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