Global warming’s first electricity price hike: $500 million for North Carolina

June 17, 2009

Citing coming global warming legislation, Duke Energy, the third-largest U.S. utility, has asked North Carolina regulators for permission to raise electricity prices 12.6 percent. The requested price hike would cost North Carolina ratepayers $496 million.

Notable statements in Duke’s 272-page filing — and don’t miss the conservation savings — include:

“In addition to the significant costs associated with existing state and federal environmental and other regulatory requirements… we are facing expected greenhouse gas reduction requirements in the near future.”

“By 2030, the electric utility industry will need to make a total infrastructure investment of $1.5 to $2.0 trillion.”

“As much as 214 gigawatts of new generation capacity may be required by 2030, at an investment cost of $697 billion.”

“Energy efficiency and demand response programs could reduce, but will not eliminate, the need for new generation capacity.”

“All types of generation capacity are needed. For the country as a whole, every type of power plant, including those fueled by natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewable resources will play a significant role in the projected expansion plan.”

“Implementation of a new federal carbon policy will significantly increase the cost and change the mix of new generation capacity… some fossil fuel plants would be retired sooner than they otherwise would have been; and the electric industry would increase investments in renewable energy and nuclear plants.”

“The electric sector will play a large role in greenhouse gas emission reductions under a federal cap-and-trade regime. Our sector accounts for 39% of the CO2 and 33% of greenhouse gases produced in the United States – more than any other emitting sector in the country. The reduction targets will almost certainly require a transformational change in how power is generated, delivered and consumed and that transformation will be costly… Although we do not know precisely what form greenhouse gas regulation will take, the impact on our industry, our Company and our customers is expected to be substantial – particularly if utilities are required to obtain all or a substantial portion of their needed CO2 allowances in auction.”

“Greenhouse gas regulation is the fulcrum of all the major challenges we face.”

“[W]e estimate that by participating in appropriate energy conservation programs, the average North Carolina residential customer (using 1,000 kWh a month) can save about $5 per month…”

Duke CEO Jim Rogers made an appearance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report last night (interview starts at about 15:20).

9 Responses to “Global warming’s first electricity price hike: $500 million for North Carolina”

  1. kong99 Says:

    Uh, not really. Businesses have to compete. They can’t jump on every excuse to raise prices because there’s always a competitor that will steal their business. Businesses actually go under because they set their prices too low trying to stay competitive. I gaurantee you that any price increases by businesses are reflected by costs they are hit with on their end (either by distributors or by taxes). Businesses try to maintain the same profit margin at all times. Many of them eat increasing costs on their end to keep customers and take a boot in the ass for it.

    As far as energy companies that are regulated, they have to get permission to raise their rates. The boards that make the decisions are very hawkish and don’t like to let them have increases. Energy companies usually don’t have any competition (which is why they are regulated), and YES they will ask for exuberant increases because they don’t have to worry about competition. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be allowed to actually get the increases.

  2. kong99 Says:

    Trying to meet goals put forth by the environmentalists is a bad idea.

    Take MADD, for instance. Sure, they have nothing to do with environmentalists, but this is just to illustrate what outside groups do with limits or targeted goals. Oh, and I’m not saying this isn’t a worthy effort (as long as it’s within reason).

    MADD puts forth DUI limits that they want the government to set the laws at. They wail and scream and raise hell until the laws reflect the target number they’re after. Then what happens? Do they stop? No. They set a higher standard (a lower DUI limit) and start over. They incrementally keep getting the number lower and lower. That sounds great, but their end game is to have zero tolerance….a stated 0.000 blood/alcohol level. This is insane, because mouthwash could get you thrown in jail for a DUI.

    I know that’s another subject, but the behavior is going to be the same with environmentalists. Incremental increases in standards, gradually chipping away at big business, energy producers, car manufacturers, and etc.. I don’t think it will just be the environmentalists, but it will be power hungry liberals jumping on for the ride.

    They will suck money out of industry for not meeting standards, and when businesses become more able to get under the CO2 emissions limits, the environmentalists and leftists will lower the bar. They will make sure that the limit is always lower than what businesses can comply with….continually draining the economy of cash and putting it in the hands of liberals (and Al Gore). As there becomes less CO2 emissions, Al Gore’s carbon credits will continue to rise in price and government penalties will become harsher.

    This whole agenda is disgusting. A liberal wet dream, a socialist’s policy driver, and an environmentalist’s life line. I think we are destined for hyper inflation because of the leftist agenda that’s already taking place, and the global warming scandal is going to bury us.

  3. dannewton Says:

    Duke is going to need a lot of cash to build this nuke plant in Ohiohttp://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1245227666164350.xml&coll=2#continue.


  4. [...] –Duke Energy’s filing with North Carolina regulators requesting a $500 million rate hike in anticipation of Waxman Markey Global Warming Hysteria policy enactment. [...]

  5. welder4 Says:

    I have a sister in law that used to work for Duke (executive secretary)when they had a coal mine in Kentucky she said they were the dirtiest of the dirty and would charge more for electricity if they ever got a foot hold in the whole eastern section of America, guess what? the old CG&E that we knew for over fifty years is now Duke energy and they have been charging more for electricity and natural Gas . They now have a foot hold in Ohio and the only thing standing in their way is DP&L Dayton power an Light, In Ohio we are under their very thumb now and we will be next. Duke supplies power to the whole southern section of Ohio and we will hear about raising the price here soon as a matter of fact I think they did ask for and get a raise here recently . Cincinnati is also under consideration of bull dozing some of their less palatable housing .

  6. dannewton Says:

    The idea that we need diversity of generation means is not true. The call for multiple means of generation is a Trojan Horse to let in less economical means of generation like solar and wind energy. These inefficient means of production have to be supported by the more efficient means of production. TVA is building a peak power facility based on natural gas for less than one million dollars per megawatt. In the same state there is a plan to build a solar farm for about $40 million for 5 Megawatts. or about one eighth the cost per megawatt.

    Diversity may make a buffet look and taste a little better but the more caviar and alcohol feed Japanese beef you ladle on the table the higher the cost per person. This will result in a reduction of disposable income in the same way as if the state just raised a tax. The result will be that the state and the local governments will not be seeing as much sales tax as they used to so there will be a secondary effect of higher local taxation.

  7. adrianvance Says:

    No wonder the CEO of Duke power became pro-global warming. Business always passes new costs on to the consumer at still higher profits. When the cost of Diesel fuel went up whole chickes went from 99 cents/pound to $1.50 to $1.74 per pound and total additional cost of bringing them to California from Arkansas was three to four cents per chicken. We occasionally see “On Sale” chicken for about $1.00, but not very often; just when they get backed up with it.

    • kong99 Says:

      Uh, not really. Businesses have to compete. They can’t jump on every excuse to raise prices because there’s always a competitor that will steal their business. Businesses actually go under because they set their prices too low trying to stay competitive. I gaurantee you that any price increases by businesses are reflected by costs they are hit with on their end (either by distributors or by taxes). Businesses try to maintain the same profit margin at all times. Many of them eat increasing costs on their end to keep customers and take a boot in the ass for it.

      As far as energy companies that are regulated, they have to get permission to raise their rates. The boards that make the decisions are very hawkish and don’t like to let them have increases. Energy companies usually don’t have any competition (which is why they are regulated), and YES they will ask for exuberant increases because they don’t have to worry about competition. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be allowed to actually get the increases


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