Western North Carolina residents recently made it clear they do not support Duke Energy Progress’s request for a 15 percent rate increase for its customers.

As required by law, the North Carolina Utilities Commission conducted a public hearing to gather input on the corporation’s request. More than a dozen people testified during the quasi-judicial hearing held in Franklin, and a majority of the speakers were against any increase at all.

Duke Energy isn’t the only utility company raising its electric rates this year amidst rising energy costs, but some local electric customers will see a better deal than others.

Duke Energy is proposing a $62 million solar rebate program designed to help its North Carolina customers with the upfront cost of installing solar panels on their property.

Utility companies are not often known for being in harmony with nature; indeed, Duke Energy’s recent coal ash fiascos come readily to mind when environmental and industrial concerns begin to comingle.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians threw its support behind the cause of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota when Tribal Council voted to give $50,000 toward a legal battle to prevent construction of an oil pipeline north of Standing Rock Sioux land.

NorthCarolinaLargeDuke Energy Progress’s plan to replace its coal-fired power plant in Asheville with natural gas has garnered partial approval from the N.C. Utilities Commission.

out frThe agricultural community of Bethel now has a new type of farm in its midst — solar. 

Visible from U.S. 276, the 8.2-acre property sandwiched between the Bethel Community Cemetery and Exxon-Mobil gas station holds more than 6,000 solar panels, each 6 feet, 5 inches long and 3 feet, 3 inches wide. The whole array has a size of 1.5 megawatts, a rating that allows it to produce 2.9 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power 240 average U.S. homes.

coverGet off the U.S. 74 exit for Dillsboro, descend the steep hill to the light, turn right for a 1-mile drive down Haywood Road and you’ll soon notice a bright-colored sign announcing that you’ve reached the turnoff for the Jackson County Green Energy Park.

op dukeIn response to public opposition to its proposed 45-mile Foothills Transmission Line, Duke Energy has settled on a revised plan that will eliminate the need for the transmission line and Campobello substation.

op dukeBy Avram Friedman • Guest Columnist

By proposing to replace its Lake Julian coal plant in Asheville with a new natural gas/fracking-fired mega power plant in Western North Carolina, Duke Energy is moving in an anachronistic direction that inhibits the transformation to energy efficiency and renewable energy needed to address rising energy costs and climate change.

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