Duke Energy is hoping state regulators will approve 12.6% a rate increase for North Carolina customers. Duke executives say that the increase is needed to pay for $4.8 billion in pollution control equip ment that has been installed since 2006, as well as new power lines and new generating capacity construction. The company’s last rate increase occurred in 1991, and this one could increase Duke North Carolina’s annual revenues by $496 million.

Jim Warren, watchdog NC WARN’s Executive Director, says the rate hikes will continue as long as Duke invests in coal and nuclear power plants. Warren says that Duke’s new power plants aren’t needed, so his group will contest the increase. (Source: Triangle Business Journal, June 2, 2009).

Contact: Cathy Roche, (704) 373-4860, Senior VP, Chief Communications Officer, Duke Energy, csroche@duke-energy.com, www.duke-energy.com; Jim Warren, Executive Director, NC WARN, (919) 416-5077, ncwarn@ncwarn.org, www.ncwarn.org.