Letter to the Editor
Reject Duke Energy hike
To the Editor:
If the proposed Duke Energy rate hike is approved, residential consumers will be paying an average of $14 more a month for the electricity they use. Many residents are retired and on a fixed income and the Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are not keeping pace with these increases. With North Carolina’s high poverty rate, I know there are many families that are struggling.
Last year, nearly a quarter of a million people had their power “cut off” in North Carolina, largely due to non-payment. Another increase will make this problem even worse. Older adults rely on affordable energy to stay healthy, while attempting to age-in-place, in their homes. Duke’s regular rate increases pose a real as well as a serious threat to health and economic security. Many residents are faced with the decision to purchase food, medication and other medical services, pay rent and/or mortgages or attempt to live in the comfort of cool or warm living quarters. This decision making process results in physical, mental and emotional difficulties, subsequently negatively impacting quality of life and in many instances, the outcome is premature death.
Unfortunately, North Carolina is one of the worst states when it comes to hunger with one-out-of ten adults over age 50 being “food insecure.” Duke is already highly profitable, while many residents are suffering. Now is not the time for rate increases. I urge others who share my concern to let the Utilities Commissioners know how rate hikes are hurting residents!
Althea Taylor-Jones, PhD