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Coal Ash stored at Duke Energy's Sutton Plant in New Hanover County in 2015. (Photo: WWAY)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Duke Energy wants to raise rates nearly 17 percent and a portion of that will go to pay for coal ash cleanup. But first the North Carolina utilities commission wants to hear from you.

Happening Thursday a public hearing to discuss the proposed rate hike.

The new rate would increase the average customer’s bill by nearly $18 a month.

Duke says that would bring in nearly $478 million a year.

Nearly half would cover costs to build or upgrade plants and the rest would go toward handling and removing coal ash.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday at the New Hanover County Courthouse.

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  • Christopher Meyers

    Duke Energy knowingly and completely dropped the ball with their handling of the coal ash at their own facilities, contaminating aquifers and wells and are forced by the EPA to clean it up and they want to charge us? They already escaped huge fines due to “politics”, now they want to charge the individual consumers to pay for THEIR wrong doings?
    ABSURD!

  • P. Van Kirk

    Why would the public be paying for ‘removing coal ash’ OR for Duke’s “capital investments”???
    My neighbors and I pay for our own “garbage removal” and for any ‘improvements’ in our own
    property. Why should we pay for a business doing the same thing??

    • guest45

      maybe because we are “duke power” in a sense, removing and improving has to be paid for by somebody, and that somebody has always been the consumer. I wish my electric bills were cheaper but I appreciate having the power, and I appreciate that as soon as it goes out the power company get’s right to work and stays at it until thy restore our power

      you want to talk about bandits, then we can talk about the fuel company’s.

      • StallingsFilm

        While I understand paying more for expansion and maintenance, I can’t understand how they expect the customers to pay for their mistakes. We didn’t ask them to dispose of the coal ash in the manner they did, and they knew it was illegal to do this yet willfully did so anyway. If I have to pay more for them improving my service, that’s fine, but all customers should refuse to pay the $66 million allocated to clean up what should come from their top earners and shareholders.

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