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dubone

Electric bills are rising!

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I guess Ron Tober looks like a genius right now!

It is funny with all of the noise made about the 20-30m dollar overrun on transit, that Duke, who pass its costs onto consumers just had a cost overrun 30 times as much. A billion dollar cost overrun is very significant as it could raise rates across the region. That will impact consumers, industries, and governments with higher costs.

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/16028959.htm

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There are parts of the county, including here in Huntersville which are not served by Duke. Maybe that is one of the reasons there are not many complaints.

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I didn't realize Duke didn't serve Huntersville. It is a little ironic considering they built the lake.

It is an interesting comparison, though, to see the private sector get such a massive cost overrun, which I think will cost the tax payers in Charlotte more than the CATS overrun, but it isn't likely to cause even much discussion in the media. It certainly won't consume half of CL and Rhino and every other Dick Rubbin editorial from here to eternity.

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Duke currently serves 297,000 households in Mecklenburg County. The US Census estimated number of Mecklenburg households in 2003 was 304,000. I guess it just means that we accept the fact that a utility can take anything it wants from us. We really have no say so unless we get solar panels and generators. The NC Utilities Commission rarely goes against anything Duke asks for. We're screwed.

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Duke currently serves 297,000 households in Mecklenburg County. The US Census estimated number of Mecklenburg households in 2003 was 304,000. ......

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Interesting how Duke passes cost overruns on to their customers. Why not take some of the hefty profits that their real estate arm, Crescent Resources, makes when they develop land "given" to them by the state by eminent domain. They have one hellova deal going, need land for a lake, take it from the owners for the public good, the develop it years later for a massive windfall...now fleece us again when you pay more than you thought for your power plant.

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Oh it gets better. They want to build a new nuclear plant in Cherokee, SC on the same site where they abandoned a 1/2 built nuclear plant in the 1980s the rate payers ended up paying for. This time, they are asking the Utilities Commissions in both NC and SC to let them raise the rates to pay for the thing before they get approval to build it. They want to raise the rates without any promises the thing will be built.

Duke is a big employer in Charlotte, but I don't think they are that good of a corporate citizen for the area. Not with that, and the fact there are 3 big coal fired plants on the west side of Charlotte that are belching pollution right on Charlotte and they basically won't do anything about it.

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There are parts of the county, including here in Huntersville which are not served by Duke. Maybe that is one of the reasons there are not many complaints.

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What percentage of the county live in the northern part as opposed to the rest of the county? Not enough, I would imagine, to account for so few complaints?

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Where do the co-ops generate power? Wouldn't they buy it wholesale from Duke, or do they have small powerplants in the towns?

If Duke sells them wholesale power, maybe that is why they seem to count north meck in their numbers.

This story really intrigues me. How on earth could they be off by a billion dollars, or 30-50% over older estimates?

I always thought we had cheaper electricity because of coal, but if the plants are going to cost that much, we might as well get a cleaner type of plant.

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Have a look at this map. The solid green are the territories that belong to the co-ops. As you can see they have a lot of opportunites to buy power from a number of sources and each other. Duke is just one wholesale provider.

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Duke Energy has made hundreds of millions if not billions from its exploitation of the Catawba system including all 3 lakes around Charlotte which it claims ownership. Despite that, the 4 counties, including Mecklenburg are having to create a fund to repair and fix the navigational markers that Duke has neglected for years. i.e the Taxpayers are going to pay to fix these beacons instead of Duke.

These beacons not only keep people from getting lost on the lake, but more importantly they point out submerged hazards and dangerous areas on the lake were people could get hurt.

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That is awful. It seems more evidence of the fact that Duke is a very poor corporate citizen with its current batch of leadership. The granting of the right of monopoly is supposed to lead to increased corporate citizenship. Duke, however, has had its real estate arm practically turn its back on creating positive, responsible, long term sustainable development. They sold off their historic headquarters for demolition. They primarily build culdesac neighborhoods in proximity to the waterways that increases water pollution.

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Have a look at this map. The solid green are the territories that belong to the co-ops. As you can see they have a lot of opportunites to buy power from a number of sources and each other. Duke is just one wholesale provider.

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That is awful. It seems more evidence of the fact that Duke is a very poor corporate citizen with its current batch of leadership. The granting of the right of monopoly is supposed to lead to increased corporate citizenship. Duke, however, has had its real estate arm practically turn its back on creating positive, responsible, long term sustainable development. They sold off their historic headquarters for demolition. They primarily build culdesac neighborhoods in proximity to the waterways that increases water pollution.

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Ha! I thought that that idea had been quashed. That will be quite an interesting thing to watch.

If we start having to pay them for the water, they better deduct that from what they charge us for power.

How did we end up with a power company that was irresponsible to its constituent communities? Other states have power companies pursuing greener technology, we get the guys who are building ultra-expensive coal plants, and fight tooth and nail to avoid putting in anti-pollution controls.

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It gets even better. I have heard that once the Duke re-licensing is complete, they may turn around and start asking the communities on the river system, including Charlotte, to pay them for the water they draw out of the lakes. That fight is yet to come.

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Not sure if anyone has been following this, but the new Duke Coal Plant hit a snag as the GA wants the utilites commission to hold off on a ruling. I know environmental groups such as the Sierra Club are fighting this plant very hard, and this could be a glimmer of hope for their cause.

It raises a bigger issue of how we as a state are going to serve all the growth? One one side, conservation measures could save some and limit AQ emissions, but over the long term, some new sources will have to be generated. In light of future energy needs *and* global warming and air quality concerns, is a new coal-fired plant the answer?

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If they are building a nuclear station in Cherokee County, SC, why on earth do they also need a coal plant here? Is the nuclear plant not enough for much of the growth?

Also, why hasn't NC done a rule for a percentage of power being from renewable resources?

In the 21st century, with global climate change a significant international issue, I believe we show our backwardness to even be discussing another coal plant.

I'm glad they hit a snag. The price tag was getting so high, I'm sure there were better options.

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If they are building a nuclear station in Cherokee County, SC, why on earth do they also need a coal plant here? Is the nuclear plant not enough for much of the growth?

Also, why hasn't NC done a rule for a percentage of power being from renewable resources?

In the 21st century, with global climate change a significant international issue, I believe we show our backwardness to even be discussing another coal plant.

I'm glad they hit a snag. The price tag was getting so high, I'm sure there were better options.

I was listening to Charlotte Talks on the local NPR station (WFAE 90.7) not long ago and heard a rep from Duke on the program going over several of the reasons why renewable resources would/wouldn't work in this area and why they chose coal. They were even brave enough to open the phone lines up to the public to answer questions. You can listen to the show by clicking the following link:

http://www.wfae.org/wfae/audio/CT20070206.m3u

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So what is the chance that NC might follow California and Australia and phase out/ban incandescent bulbs? Their environmental minister was quoted as saying that it would decrease household power bills by as much as 66%. If we could get a fraction of that decrease, then certainly we wouldn't need to consider more power plants of any kind.

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So what is the chance that NC might follow California and Australia and phase out/ban incandescent bulbs? Their environmental minister was quoted as saying that it would decrease household power bills by as much as 66%. If we could get a fraction of that decrease, then certainly we wouldn't need to consider more power plants of any kind.

I'm not so sure the 66% number is a true number for almost all households. No doubt by switching to something more efficient like a compact flourescent a ton of energy could be saved, but I'd be hard pressed to believe a number as high as 66%. I have switched my entire family over to compact flourescents in all possible locations and we have been that way for years (ever since they hit the consumer market).

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We have a topic here at UrbanPlanet about CFLs.

The thing about investor owned power companies such as Duke power is their interest is not in protecting the environment or reducing energy usage. Instead it is in the amount of money it makes for it's investors and if protecting the environment and energy conservation help them do that then they will give lip service to it. However Duke makes the most money when it can dig up cheap coal and burn it in plants with little air pollution equipment and that is what we are suffering from in Charlotte.

Most Charlotteans don't realize there are already 3 large coal buring plants on the west side of the city that were built decades ago and continue to pump great a great deal of particulate pollution in the air. Duke has been very very agressive in getting government to water down laws and prevent new laws from being written which would require them to clean up their business.

Add to that the sprawing neighborhoods their subsidiary has built one some of the most beautiful land in NC and in the Charlotte area.

They are a terrible company which has no concerns for the public interest, IMO, and a reason that I think the states or feds ought to nationalize the power generating companies in this country. Or at least, don't deregulate them.

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Their attempts to build this plant have solidified in my mind their lack of corporate citizenship in this community. I was already headed to that conclusion with all of Crescent's misdeeds, but the fact that the core power company would pursue brand new coal plants in this day and age is unforgiveable.

Their NC Greenpower thing is poorly managed (I don't even get any statement back to deduct from my taxes). They just like to have the colorful inserts in the bill to greenwash as though they are a big supporter of green power.

I guess renewables won't work in NC because we don't get much sun or wind here. In fact, I believe the Wright brothers came here because they didn't have to deal with all that wind in Ohio. It is just absurd.

I'd even support nuclear before I support coal.

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