Angry Duke Energy customers speak out

DURHAM If the increase is approved, some customers will see their bills increase by more than 13 percent.

Duke Energy says it wants to raise rates for North Carolina customers in order to recover investments made with customers.

One of those investments is a new coal plant in Cliffside.

"It's a giant global warming machine that's not needed," said Jim Warren, NC WARN.

Environmentalists say not only is the plant unnecessary, but it's the sole reason Duke Energy wants to raise rates an average of 12.6 percent. That's about $11 a month.

The company says the hike will help it better serve customers with clean, reliable energy.

It would be the first general rate hike since 1991.

Duke Energy has asked customers to pay small hikes in the past to cover increased costs, but for many customers, much of the argument against the hike centers around the financial impact on rate payers and the way the current recession has slowed demand.

They say that essentially eliminates the rationale for building Cliffside.

The public hearing will begin 7 p.m. at Durham City Hall.

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