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Duke Energy on proposed rate hike; hearing in Carmel, Indiana


DUKE ENERGY IS PROPOSING A 15- PERCENT RATE INCREASE. AND TONIGHT CUSTOMERS HAD THEIR FIRST CHANCE TO VOICE THEIR OPINIONS ABOUT THE PROPOSAL AT A COMMUNITY HEARING IN CARMEL. NEWS 8’S JENNY DREASLER WAS AT CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL TONIGHT FOR THE FIRST OF THREE MEETINGS. JENNY HOW DID IT GO? *JENN*) MIKE AND BROOKE.. PEOPLE WERE PRETTY UPSET OVER THIS. IF THIS PASSES IT WOULD MEAN ABOUT AN EXTRA $275 A YEAR OUT OF YOUR POCKET. AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHY THE INDIANA UTILITY REGULATORY COMMISSION IS PUTTING ON THESE FORUMS TO GET FEEDBACK BEFORE A FINAL DECISION IS MADE. *JENNY DREASLER, REPORTIN*) ((SUSAN SCHECHTER ((NATS: YOU KNOW WHAT THAT SAYS TO ME?? THEY’RE LIARS!! THEY’RE BIG LIARS)):05 EMOTIONS RAN HIGH DURING MONDAY NIGHT’S INDIANA UTILITY REGULATORY COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING INSIDE CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL’S AUDITORIUM. THE TOPIC – DUKE ENERGY’S PROPOSED RATE HIKE. ((NORA ARNOLD, DUKE CUSTOMER/: “THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS PROPOSED RATE INCREASE OR PROPOSED PROGRAMS THAT BENEFITS RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS.”)):10 ABOUT 50 PEOPLE SHOWED UP TO THE HEARING. SOME.. OUTRAGED WITH A RATE INCREASE THEY BELIEVE MANY CAN’T AFFORD. ((DAVID FRYE, BUSINESS MANAGER OF INDIANA LABOR’S DISTRICT COUNCIL/: “AN INCREASE IN AN ELECTRIC BILL WILL AFFECT MANY OF OUR RETIREES LIVING ON FIXED INCOMES.”)):06 DUKE SAYS THE AVERAGE CUSTOMER’S BILL WOULD GO UP 15%, OR ABOUT $23 PER MONTH. THAT WORKS OUT TO ABOUT 77 CENTS PER DAY. THE INCREASE WOULD BE 13% IN 2020 AND 2% IN 2021. ((JULIE SHADINGER, DUKE CUSTOMER/: “I DON’T HAVE A CHOICE. DUKE ENERGY IS THE PROVIDER IN THIS AREA. AND PROVIDES TO THE HOME THAT I LIVE IN. AND SO THE CHOICE I MAKE IS TO BE CAREFUL.)):12 THE RATE HIKE WOULD RESULT IN ABOUT A $395 MILLION DOLLAR INCREASE IN ANNUAL REVENUE. DUKE OFFICIALS SAY THE EXTRA MONEY WOULD ALLOW THE COMPANY TO ACCELERATE THE RETIREMENT OF SOME OF ITS COAL FIRE POWER PLANTS AND ADD MORE NATURAL GAS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY. ((STAN PINEGAR, PRESIDENT OF DUKE ENERGY INDIANA OPERATIONS/: “WE UNDERSTAND THIS AND WE DON’T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY, IT’S A BIG ASK. I THINK THE BURDEN IS ON US TO SHOW A VALUE PROPOSITION FOR WHAT WE’RE ASKING FOR. WE INTEND TO DO THAT.THERE ARE MANY ELEMENTS TO THIS.”)):12 WHILE A FEW IN ATTENDANCE DID SPEAK POSITIVELY ABOUT DUKE’S COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.. THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY HOPE THEIR VOICES ARE HEARD, AND DUKE WON’T GO THROUGH WITH THE PLAN. ((JULIE SHADINGER, DUKE CUSTOMER/: “LIKE A LOT OF FOLKS SITTING HERE TONIGHT, SOMETIMES I DON’T GET RAISES EVERY YEAR. SO $300 IS TO ME, IS PRETTY PRECIOUS. AND I WANT THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHERE I SPEND THAT MONEY. AND I DON’T BELIEVE FOR A SECOND, DUKE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DICTATE THAT.”)):16 *JENN*) THE IURC WILL HOLD ITS NEXT MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 23RD IN TERRE HAUTE. IF YOU MISSED TONIGHT’S PUBLIC HEARING, YOU CAN STILL EMAIL IN YOUR FEEDBACK. WE’VE GOT INFORMATION ON HOW TO DO THAT ON OUR WEBSITE AT WISHTV DOT COM. LIVE IN CARMEL JENNY DREASLER, WISH TV NEWS 8.

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