The topic of much conversation around the General Assembly has been Senate Bill 559, also known as the Duke Energy rate hike bill.
Though the legislation has subtly changed since it passed the Senate last month, many opponents still assert that its sole purpose is to boost Duke profits at North Carolina ratepayers’ expense. Of most concern is the second section of the bill, which authorizes multi-year rate increases and circumvents more comprehensive review of utility rates. If S559 were enacted under the current rate plan, Duke would stand to reap more than $140 million in annual profits while saddling consumers with the cost of cleaning up their dirty operations and hindering progress toward a clean energy transition.
Duke has avoided discussions regarding any other options for financial reform, conveniently excluding stakeholders from the conversation.
In the House Energy and Public Utilities Committee on June 19th, Rep. Pricey Harrison attempted to change the second section of the bill into a study, but that amendment failed, and S559 passed through the committee on a bipartisan vote. The bill will now move to the House Rules Committee before likely making its way to the House floor sometime soon.
It is critical that legislators vote NO on S559, to hold Duke Energy accountable and to ensure fair electricity rates for their constituents.
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