I am not surprised that Duke Energy profits are up after its last rate increase took effect in February 2012.
From February through August 2012, my residential electric bill had an average rate increase over the 2011 monthly bills of 15.3 percent, more than double what was allowed by the N.C. Utilities Commission.
I started complaining to Duke Energy customer service in June last year, but they gave me no satisfaction. Starting last September, my electric bills have shown a rate increase more in line with what was approved. It would not surprise me that many other residential customers may have experienced the same excess charges for seven months.
It would be appropriate for Duke Energy to reduce its latest request for a 9.7 percent rate increase in light of its billing errors last year, and for the Utilities Commission to impose safeguards by the utility to prevent this from happening again.