NORTH CAROLINA AG TO APPEAL 7.2% DUKE ENERGY RATE HIKE

     (The following press release from the North Carolina Attorney General's 
Office was received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the 
statement.) 
AG Cooper will appeal 7.2 percent Duke Energy rate hike                          
Utilities Commission failed to heed Supreme Court ruling, Cooper says 
Raleigh: Attorney General Roy Cooper will appeal a decision announced late 
yesterday by the North Carolina Utilities Commission approving higher power 
bills for Duke Energy customers, a rate hike that was struck down by the state 
Supreme Court earlier this year. 
"This opinion just puts window dressing on a bad decision," Cooper said. "A 
thorough examination of the impact on consumers like the Supreme Court directed 
should result in lower rates." 
The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled on the proposed 7.2 percent rate 
increase on April 12, ordering the Utilities Commission to determine the impact 
on consumers before it set an allowable profit margin and agreed to raise rates. 
The Utilities Commission initially agreed last year to let Duke Energy raise 
its customers' rates by 7.2 percent in order to allow a 10.5 percent profit for 
the company. Cooper fought the rate increase to the NC Supreme Court, arguing 
that state law requires that consumers be taken into account when evaluating 
requests for higher profit margins and rates. 
In its ruling 
<http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/d1e2647a-52e4-4ab0-986f-055a2afd1c64/Duke-Energy-De
cision-S-Ct-4-12-2013.aspx> , the Court agreed with Cooper's assessment of the 
law (NCGS § 62-133 
<http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/byarticle/chapter_62/arti
cle_7.html> ). The Court held that the law does not just protect utilities and 
shareholders and that consumer interests "cannot be measured only indirectly or 
treated as mere afterthoughts" by the Commission. 
Duke Energy this year requested an additional rate increase, on top of the 7.2 
percent hike granted yesterday by the Commission, which could raise rates by 
4.5 percent for the first two years and then 5.1 percent after that. Cooper is 
fighting that rate hike along with a 7.5 percent rate increase for Duke Energy 
Progress, formerly Progress Energy, approved by the Commission earlier this 
year. 
According to an analysis by Moody's 
<http://www.surfa.com/downloads/2013ForumPresentations/Panel%201%20-%20Hempstead
/US%20utilities%20-%20Feb%202013.pdf> , North Carolinians currently pay a 
higher percentage of their household disposable income for electricity than all 
but six other states in the nation. 
Contact:  Noelle Talley
Phone:    919/716-6484 
(kgt)NY 
 
 
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