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NC WARN Calls out Progress Energy for Charging Political Pay-offs to Customers via an Accounting Fiction

Millions to Influence Politicians Should be Rejected in Rate Case, Says Watchdog Group

A utility watchdog group said today it will press the NC Utilities Commission to disallow millions in annual political expenditures that Progress Energy wants to charge annually to rate payers by using accounting gimmickry. Durham-based NC WARN says the monopoly utility – whose rates and stockholder returns are set by the Commission – is granted too much profit if it is using customer money to influence political campaigns and public policies.

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Has Duke Energy Been Cheating on Rate Hikes?

Watchdog Group Calls on Attorney General to Require Audit of Millions in Overcharges as Two More Rate Hikes Loom

Controversial rate hikes by Duke Energy Carolinas in 2009 and 2011 revealed a pattern of activity apparently designed to overcharge North Carolina electricity customers millions of dollars annually, energy watchdog group NC WARN said. The group said Duke is either deliberately attempting to gouge ratepayers or suffers gross incompetence across its legal and accounting departments. It urged Attorney General Roy Cooper to take action.

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Progress Asks for 14% Rate Hike in North Carolina

Progress Rate Hike to Further Burden Residential, Small Business and Municipalities

Progress Energy Carolinas customers have seen their monthly electricity bills steadily increase over time as the utility increased rates by 25% due to fuel adjustment charges. Now residential customers are being asked to shoulder an additional 14.2% for a base rate increase (with a smaller increase for commercial and industrial customers). This is despite the fact that since 1988 Progress Energy has benefited from a guaranteed return on shareholder equity of a remarkable 12.75%.

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