Hearings delayed on Duke energy hike request

RALEIGH (AP) — Utility regulators are postponing until Thanksgiving a hearing to decide whether to allow a 15 percent increase in the electricity bills of 1.3 million North Carolina customers.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission is acting at the request of consumer advocates to delay hearing from expert witnesses until Nov. 20 in Raleigh. The commission’s decision last week postpones plans to grill energy experts a month earlier.

The commission plans to hold public meetings in September and October in Rockingham, Raleigh, Asheville, Snow Hill and Wilmington on Duke Energy Progress’ request to charge an extra $477 million a year. That would mean $18 more per month for the typical household bill of $105.

The subsidiary of the country’s largest electric company operates in much of eastern North Carolina and around Asheville.