Attorney General Roy Cooper has filed notice he will again appeal to the N.C. Supreme Court a Duke Energy Carolinas rate hike that was granted nearly two years ago.
Cooper says the N.C. Utilities Commission, in granting the 7.2 percent rate increase in January 2012, allowed Duke a profit margin that unfairly burdens consumers. He has appealed three other rate cases on similar grounds.
In a rare move, the Supreme Court sent the rate case back to the Utilities Commission for reconsideration. The commission reaffirmed its original order in October.
In his filing Thursday, Cooper faulted the commission for not holding a new hearing to allow additional evidence on Dukes request. Duke Carolinas serves the Charlotte region and much of western North Carolina.
The heart of our argument, and the court agreed, is that the increases impact on consumers has not been properly evaluated, said Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley. That still hasnt happened.
While the commission heard from expert witnesses before granting Duke a 10.5 percent return on equity, or profit margin, Coopers staff has not offered its own experts.
Cooper, an expected candidate for governor in 2016, has said he will also appeal Duke Carolinas 4.5 percent rate increase granted this year.
Hes already appealing rate hikes for Duke Energy Progress, which serves eastern North Carolina, and Dominion North Carolina Power in the states northeastern corner.
Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender