NC group fighting settlement with Duke Energy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A clean energy group in North Carolina is calling on the state to reject a settlement it says could raise power rates by more than 25 percent by 2026.

NC WARN filed a motion asking the NC Utilities Commission to reject the deal between Duke Energy and several organizations.

Duke has been asking the state for annual rate increases to pay for a $13 billion energy grid upgrade.

Last week the company reached a deal with environmental groups to scale back its request in exchange for a renewable energy pilot program.

In a statement NC WARN said, “We stand firmly with the Southern Environmental Law Center, the NC Justice Center, the NC Housing Coalition and others vigorously opposing the proposed deal as a rip-off of customers, especially those on low and fixed incomes.”

Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks said the company has been open and transparent about its desire to have a constructive dialogue about this rate request with the parties involved.

“Keeping energy affordable for customers is a priority for Duke Energy,” Brooks said. “That's why we have pursued rate options that would result in smaller, more gradual increases to rates to avoid a large bill spike in the future.”