Duke Energys increasing rates and its use of dirty coal to produce energy is behind the protests planned Thursday at the companys shareholders meeting in Charlottes uptown.
But Duke Energy officials say the rate hike will pay for construction of plants that cause less pollution.
Protesters have targeted Duke Energy before. Six Greenpeace members were arrested Feb. 15 outside the Duke Energy building in Charlotte after they allegedly erected tripods and hung a banner carrying the message, Duke Energy: no dirty rate hike.
The protesters said they were unhappy with a 7 percent rate hike for Duke, approved in January by the N.C. Utilities Commission. They also said Duke Energy is relying too heavily on plants that burn coal and create health-endangering pollution.
The Charlotte protest came a few days after a similar action was taken by Greenpeace near Asheville.
Duke Energy officials respond that the rate hikes opposed by Greenpeace are being used in part to fund the improvements sought by the group. Utility executives say they plan to use $5 billion from the increased revenue to recoup the cost of building cleaner plants.
Duke officials also say they currently are building two new coal-using plants that will have state-of-the-art pollution controls, and two other plants that will burn cleaner natural gas.