Duke Energy overlooks clean energy opportunities in latest plan

N.C. groups file to protect customer interests

Investments in solar and energy efficiency would save Duke Energy customers money but are overlooked in the utility’s latest long-term plan. (© Alice Keeney)

A coalition of clean energy advocates filed expert analyses with North Carolina utility regulators today, finding that the Duke Energy’s long-range plans would cost customers too much money by:

  • keeping aging, inefficient coal plants online,
  • building new power plants that are not needed to meet electricity demand, and
  • by failing to tap the full potential of abundant, low-cost, clean energy resources like solar and energy efficiency.

On behalf of Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, SELC filed the expert reports with the North Carolina Utilities Commission on the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress “integrated resource plans,” which show how the utilities' plan to meet customer demand for electricity over the next 15 years.

The groups asked the commission to hold a trial-type hearing on the plans, as allowed under state law, so customers can have a thorough vetting of the multi-billion-dollar investments included in the plans, most of which will show up on customers’ monthly bills.

“We’re asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission to take a hard look at Duke Energy’s long-range plans,” said Senior Attorney Gudrun Thompson. “Reviews by industry experts show that Duke’s internal analysis favors polluting, costly coal and gas plants while giving short shrift to cleaner, cheaper options like energy efficiency, solar and wind.”

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