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NC commission OKs 10 percent utility cost hike

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RALEIGH -- Progress Energy will be allowed to recover some of its higher fuel costs by raising prices on the average household bill by more than 10 percent. The electricity price will increase in December. Rates would likely increase again in December 2009. The state Utilities Commission approved the 10.2 percent increase Friday. The Raleigh-based electric company agreed in September to spread the increase over three years after negotiating with the commission's Public Staff, which represents consumers and industrial customers. In June, Progress Energy asked to raise rates by 16.2 percent to about $113 a month for an average household using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. The Utilities Commission instead approved a rate that will increase bills from almost $97 to nearly $107. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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What about the price of oil goes down?

Now that the price of oil is down to under 60 dollars a barrel and falling will the Utility Company dial back the rate hikes? Once they recoup thier "losses?" I know the answer to that. They have a duty to their shareholders to rip off the middle class right? I like Mr. Commonsense who believes greed is not a part of this economic meltdown.

You think Progress burns oil?

Try coal and natural gas, Einstein.

We need to stop thinking

We need to stop thinking about now and start looking towards a clean future with wind-power and solar energy as our primary source of energy. That is what makes the most sense. Remeber how quickly the past 10-12 years have gone by? The change will pay for itself within those years, sometimes even shorter.

High Cost of Electricity

I currently live in New York State but within the next year I will be a NC residence. The main reason for my leaving NYS is the high taxes! Including all the taxes I pay on my Electric Bill. My bill starts out with the basic monthly charge of $19.95 then added to that is my state, county and federal tax. Plus delivery and surcharges for god knows what. After all the taxes and surcharges added, my bill is never lower that $85.00 and thats in the middle of the summer (without air conditioning!) I have a gas stove and dryer and I heat my home in the winter with a coal stove. (By the way, I pay over $4.00 per gallon for propane gas!) My electric bill for my property in NC consists of my basic monthly rate of $15.00 and a 45 cent NC tax, and that's it! No surcharges and hidden taxes! I can truly understand everyones anger with your rate hikes, especially with the economy. I just wanted you like to know what its like to pay a light bill up here in New York State.

electric bill

I'm from NJ and let me tell you if you are able to have a house in NY STATE and a house here in NC your not hurting. Try living here for 11 years and making 8.00 hour and now working part time and try to pay for a house with 2 children. I'm hurting! I hope you have some kind of connection here in brunswick county because if you don't you will not get a job.

maybe

Maybe, just maybe you should have though about how much you are earning BEFORE you have children. Don't breed what you can't afford to feed.

NOBODY, even with a college

NOBODY, even with a college degree can get a job right now. $8 an hour is better than nothing, but a ridiculous pay for anybody! I know good, hard working families who are losing their jobs because of the recession, who have been working their jobs for over 10-20 years. That was a completely ignorant comment.

85 dollars is cheap. Wait

85 dollars is cheap. Wait until you move here. Depending on your house size I've seen electric bills in the summer here reach like 5oo dollars.

Not Cheap

Think about it. $85 for just using your lights only in the middle of summer. NO air conditioning. NO electric stove. NO electric Dryer. It's not cheap! If you think a $500 bill is high, come to NY in the winter. Try dishing out $1500.00 for 600 gallons of fuel oil to heat your home with knowing that it won't last all winter. Thank god this is my last winter here!

I've lived here thirty

I've lived here thirty years. you'll never survive without air.

Progress energy prices

My favorite part is the wonderful low gas prices story next to the progress rate hike because of fuel prices. What?

CP&L hike

Im all about lowering the use of electricity and if raising the rates helps people do that then great! But this corporation has extremely high salaries, HUGE waste when it comes to equipment expenditures, when was the last time you saw a truck of theres more than 2 years old? Someone needs to look into the salaries and bonuses.

The PUC is well aware of Progress salaries

Key executive salaries and bonuses are available as public information. If the PUC and shareholders are confortable with them, then there's no problem. You people are acting as if Progress just decided this on their own! They actually asked for substantially more, and the PUC limited them to the pending increase. Plus, it was in front of the PUC for quite awhile. Did you register your complaints with them?

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!! People are having a hard enough time putting food on the table and good old NC decided it is ok to add a 10% increase? Shame on you! People are losing their jobs, homes and autos due to the economy and here is one more piece of proof that this country is going to the dogs! How about bailing the middle to lower class out instead of these corporations that have billions in the bank and savings! I am sick of getting pushed and shoved around by these big wigs who only care about themselves and not the hard working people that try so hard to make it day to day.

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!!

I am so with you on this. I live in guilford county, NC and my last two electric bills were over 280.00. I have changed every bulb in my home to florescence, turned off the heat, most of the time, don't use the dish washer and have everyone in the household take showers only four times per wk. and still High Point Utilities and North Carolina just rip us off. Maybe Obama should give the poor and middle class folks some bail out money! If every lower income family was given $10,000 to get there lives in order, there debit would be paid off or lowered, they could purchase a new car and maybe have a down payment on a home. I say, give the people some bail out bucks, so we can eat and pay our bill.

Extras

Then you should shut off your cell phone, cable tv and any other extras that you can live without, or shut off your electricity and keep the other extras.

How about the hardworking shareholders?

YOU use the electricity, YOU pay for the increased fuel cost. It really IS that simple. The shareholders didn't invest in the company to subsidize your lifestyle. A lot of elderly widows count on that quarterly dividend check to pay their bills.

Here we go....

Another corporation that offers a service that few can go without off-setting their cost by raising prices on the people that are suffering enough, losing jobs, etc. Thanks, is all I can say.

They're a publicly traded corporation....

...not a social service agency. They have a legal obligation to protect their shareholders. Should THEY absorb the increased fuel cost when YOU are the one using the electricity? The PUC looks out for you. Progress also looks out for you as a customer, but not at the expense of their shareholders. Progress offers a plan to average out your bill so that the charges for Winter and Summer months can be spread our over the Spring and Fall, when you don't use as much electricity. There are also government programs to assist you if you truly can't afford your heating bill. When I heard about the increase, I simply lowered my thermostat from 70 to 68, and planned on wearing a sweater when needed.

Electric Bill

I rent a well insulated 1300 sq.ft home in NC. I haven't had heat or air conditioning for the last 4 years. Last month, without heat and very few lights on, my electric bill was $120.00. My electric, water and trash pick-up is on the same bill. I paid $15 dollars for water, $25 for trash, the rest were charges for water drainage and taxes. My bill came to $310.00. I turned the heat on to 68 for a couple of nights the month before and my bill was $460.00. This month, I've unpluged everything except the washing machine, dryer water heater and the stove. Everything else, to include the TV, I've plugged into surge protectors. I make it a rule to never have more than one thing, aside from the above, on at one time. I hang out our clothes to dry. I barely turn on a light, I use candles. This better help a bunch because this $300 plus bill is actually over $100.00 more than I can aford. I am a mother, daughter, worker and a student. If I go down, my family goes down. There is no one there for me, I am there for them. I don't think I can take my 88 year old mother with cancer and put her on the street. I have been trying to find a better job, in fact with Progress or GE, I've been studying Electrical Engineering specifically to go into Renewable Energy Research. I have to have an internet connection, if I am to finish university or find a job. I can't move, I've had to spend all of my savings. My rent is small enough at $750 for three people. But this sure feels like a rock and a hard place to me. If something doesn't change for me soon, it looks like my next move is to simply walk out of my home leaving everything there except my mom and son. Now, I know I'm crying here but man, oh man, I'm so close to going down, I can harly breath.

Showing our ages

Turn down the thermostat or up in the summer. Seems to me former President Carter made the same recommendations. I even remember a few of his televised speeches in which he wore a sweater to bring home the point about lowering energy consumption. I'm not certain if Miss Lillian made that one for him. Also seems to me the Power Companies have a couple of money saving devices. One of them monitors your hot water heater. Cuts it off during the work week. After all, working folks are not home during the day; so why pay to have the water hot. I think the hours for it to operate are 8 to 5, Monday through Friday. Another one is a monitor on your HVAC. Cuts off the system while folks are at work. Same hours of operation. It also does not allow heat to fall below a certain temperature or coolness to rise above a certain temperature. If working folks want to significantly cut fuel costs, here are a couple of ways. They only monitor the system during working hours when everyone is away at work and school. Taking a vacation and staying home; no problem. Call the pwoer company and they will suspend its operation for the time period specified. Don't want to go that far. Then as you walk out the door to work or school, cut the thermostat to 60 during the cool months and raise it to 80 during the summer months. Set your comfort level when you return. Consider doing the same when you go on vacation or to visit Grandma during the holidays. But stop whining.

Who Cares...

I realize they have obligations to their shareholders, but, just like the company that I work for, they can start trimming the fat, and I guarantee they have fat that can be trimmed just as my company does. It is these lean times when you start finding it and cutting it!!!!

Utility Charges

All public utilities fear emminent domain (condemnation) by a local government. Here, in Idaho, we hear similar clap trap from the local utilities. A weak PUC rubber stamps rate increases. Both in NC and Idaho the politicians lack the spine to start emminent domain against the hard assets of the utilities. As for the shareholders, their original investment has been paid by dividends over the years. A greedy element has taken control of the utilities and they are aided by out of control bookkeepers. The greed will end when emminent domain actions are started.

Hugo Chavez, is that you?

I'll skip over the fact that you obviously have no idea what dividends are for (they are not a return of capital), and simply point out that you have rotten timing if you're going to sell this idea here. We have a brand new water district that has proven they are totally incompetent...and gosh - the rates went up! So while I understand that you Marxists love nationalizing and condemning all private property, your plan is based entirely upon the premise that the state can actually run a business successfully. Therein lies the rub, for we here in NC enjoy having the lights come on when we flip the switch, and assuming that the state could run an electric company has been proven false time and time again in the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea....even most of Socialist Europe has returned electric power generation back over the private enterprise. So maybe it's not that the politicians lack the spine, but that they have a brain and realize what a failure nationalization and Socialism are... ...but please....hold your breath waiting for those eminent domain proceedings to start.

They need to cut back....

...so that YOU don't have to pay as much for the electricity you're using? Too bad life doesn't work that way. Fuel costs increased, the PUC said that a portion of that cost should be passed onto the customer base, you now pay ten-percent more. Welcome to real life in a Capitalist society. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay for that fuel, and it should be the customer who is receiving the end product.

Come on

The fact is they got ya. They can justify how ever they want but they got you. You have no other energy provider to buy from there is no competetion they got you. Just like the oil companies etc. this is a result of electing business men to office that do not and will not stand up for the people that put them there. Those guys were not hurting for profits and have gotten help from the goverment in the past. It is plain and simple they got you. You will pay or do without in the dark. Those on a limited income well some folks think you are less important than the share holders making 17 cents a share. Remember this the next time you elect an official. As far as cutting back; with the economy going south I think folks are cutting back ie gas prices. Your only recourse is to stand up for yourselves and go after the public servants that did not serve the public.

10% hike - Progress Energy

Wonderful! More taken out of my paycheck so less for Christmas, which the list is definitely shorter this year. Only the basic living expenses. I use the computer at work so now I won't have any extra to save for my own, no cable, sat. or converter box (no extra cash), no microwave or credit card. At least gas prices have come down & my car is paid for and I've got 2 jobs. Even though I'm not able to go out or spend on stuff I'm very blessed to be able to pay my few bills, eat & drive to work & I'm much better mentally since I don't watch TV.

You, sir, have a great attitude.

I salute you! Life will never kick your tail.