Settlement requires Duke Energy to donate $2.5 million to low-income energy assistance program

Increasing buildings’ energy efficiency is one of the cheapest ways to reduce energy demand, and customer power bills. (© iStock)

In a settlement with SELC and our partners, Duke Energy Progress has agreed to contribute $2.5 million in shareholder dollars to provide energy efficiency upgrades to low-income households in North Carolina.

This contribution will help pay for energy efficiency upgrades and health and safety repairs for hundreds of low-income households. The money will go to a successful program called the Helping Home Fund, which helps lower-income families make weatherization upgrades, heating and cooling system repairs, and appliance replacements to increase energy efficiency and reduce their monthly power bills.

“I’m happy to say this settlement will provide meaningful assistance to hundreds of families who are struggling to pay their electric bills,” said Senior Attorney Gudrun Thompson.

The settlement is part of a case before the North Carolina Utilities Commission in which Duke Energy Progress is seeking to increase its electricity rates and charges. SELC and our partners — the North Carolina Justice Center, the North Carolina Housing Coalition, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Natural Resources Defense Council — will continue to fight Duke’s proposal for a 25 percent increase to the basic residential customer charge, a fixed monthly fee on each customer’s bill that penalizes customers for saving energy and hits low-income customers the hardest.