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Emotions run high at a public hearing over Duke Energy rate hike request

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Last Friday marked the first of several public hearings in Alamance County over the potential Duke Energy rate hike request. Numerous residents spoke out against the rate increase — emphasizing the financial hardships that Duke Energy’s rate increase would cause. If the rate hike request is allowed, ratepayers’ bills would go up by 6.8 percent — essentially footing Duke Energy’s 76 million tons of coal ash cleanup settlement onto customers.

From WFMY:

Over 20 people got the chance to speak – some visibly emotional while talking about the financial hardship a rate increase would have on them. 

The North Carolina Utilities Commission will ultimately get to decide on the increase.

“I am outraged that any energy company would ask customers to pay any additional monies to pay for their mismanagement,” said Deborah Graham of Salisbury.

“If I went to any of your houses and dumped a bunch of trash and then sent you a bill you would think that was ludicrous,” said Heather Sanchez.

“I have people in the same condition that have to choose between paying bills, buying food, buying medicine,” said Ronald Namest. 

“We simply want them to assume some responsibility. Clean up their mess at their own expense,” said Bobby Jones. 

Even the Mayor of Gibsonville showed up to speak out about the rate hike on behalf of his constituents.

“Our people cannot afford this increase. A lot of people cannot,” said Leonard Williams.

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Eleanore Wood