Multiyear rate option sought by Duke Energy in NC scuttled

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Duke Energy working on power lines in Carolina Beach (Photo: WWAY)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Legislative allies of the nation’s largest electricity company have given up this year on a proposal to let Duke Energy and other utilities seek multiyear rates from North Carolina state regulators.

House and Senate members who fashioned the negotiated bill weeks ago withdrew it on Tuesday, replacing it with a measure omitting the option for utilities to seek a key component of electricity rates for up to three years. What’s left is a provision to let utilities use bonds to pay for storm recovery costs.

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A bipartisan Senate coalition had voted for the previous negotiated bill, but the House was divided on the multiyear rate option. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper had signaled he would veto that bill.

The House unanimously approved the scaled-back measure on Tuesday. The Senate votes Wednesday.