A year ago, the state Supreme Court struck down a rate increase that the state Utilities Commission awarded to Duke Energy Corp. and ordered the panel to reconsider the increase in light of its impact on consumers. Now, Cooper is appealing the same increase to the high court, arguing that the Utilities Commission ignored the ruling.
“The court has already ruled once that consumers must be taken into account when setting utility profits but it still hasn’t happened,” Cooper said in a statement. “Even when given a second chance to get it right, the commission didn’t really consider consumers and approved the exact same rate hike.”
And as long as we allow this flawed formula to continue, where a rule-making commission is tasked with being concerned about profits for wealthy shareholders, many of whom do not even live in North Carolina, the unfairness will be ever-present. Any other private industry would need to dip into profits or borrow to make infrastructure improvements, which would force them to calculate the true need and ROI for such, and Duke Energy should be no different.
Submitted by scharrison on Sat, 11/10/2012 - 12:43pm
Making me wonder even more about where Paul Newby's shadowy PAC money came from:
The N.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear Attorney General Roy Cooper’s claim that economic pain to customers wasn’t fully considered in Duke Energy Carolinas’ latest rate hike. Cooper is challenging a key factor in utility rates: Called the rate of return on equity, or ROE, it’s the profit margin utilities are allowed to earn on capital investments.
Highlighting another glaring contradiction between the faux-Libertarian John Locke Foundation and their supposed principles. The State guaranteeing profits for one corporation (especially during a recession) is the anti-thesis of a free market. They whine like puppies about the REPS, but don't make a squeak about this or CWIP (Construction Work in Progress), which allows utilities to charge us for power that isn't even being generated yet. Total ideological fail.
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