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Duke Energy: political funds now out of rate hike

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Duke Energy says the country's largest electric company mistakenly tried to pass on to customers more than $326,000 in political contributions to a clean-energy advocacy group and Republican Party organizations.

The president of Duke Energy's North Carolina operations told the North Carolina Utilities Commission on Monday the company made an accounting error. Paul Newton says the company has now subtracted the political contributions as it seeks permission to raise electricity costs for North Carolina consumers by more than $200 million a year.

The contributions went to the Republican Governors Association, the North Carolina and South Carolina Republican parties, and the group Strategies for the Global Environment.

The company is seeking its third rate increase since 2009 for customers of Duke Energy Carolinas, which serves much of western North Carolina.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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