NC AG again appeals Duke Energy rate hike

State Attorney General Roy Cooper has again appealed a Duke Energy rate hike to the N.C. Supreme Court.

Cooper says the N.C. Utilities Commission didn’t assess the impact to consumers when it approved a 7.2 percent rate hike in 2012 by Duke Energy Carolinas, which serves Charlotte and Western North Carolina. He challenged the 10.5 percent shareholder profit the commission allowed.

The high court agreed in 2013, sending the case back to the commission. The commission again approved the rate hike and profit margin.

“Even when given a second chance to get it right, the commission didn’t really consider consumers and approved the exact same rate hike,” said Cooper, who’s expected to run for governor in 2016.

Cooper filed papers late Thursday asking the high court to again intervene.

“Duke Energy believes the commission’s order satisfies all of the requirements set out by the N.C. Supreme Court and the commission properly weighed the evidence,” Duke said in a statement. “Duke Energy Carolinas will respond to the appeal in its filings with the N.C. Supreme Court.”

The attorney general has also appealed a second Duke Energy Carolinas rate hike, of 4.2 percent, and a 7.5 percent hike granted Duke Energy Progress, which serves Eastern North Carolina and Asheville.