To the Editor:

Keep Duke Energy on track


Like most of you, I’m a Duke Energy “ratepayer.”

My family feels the increasing adverse economic and health impacts of extreme weather events due to climate change. We struggle to keep our honeybees alive and trees upright while experiencing more frequent heat waves, droughts, floods, wind storms, and direct lightning strikes adding to our repair costs. Our power bills are rising along with air pollution, as Duke Energy is our biggest carbon polluter in my neck of the woods.

My personal experience causes me to submit a statement to North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) concerning N.C.’s HB 951 to keep Duke Energy on track to bring dirty coal to early retirement and bypass introducing new natural gas for renewable energy plants — which will save money in the long run and reduce carbon emissions saving our environment, public health, and my family’s resources.

Regarding HB 951, why does Duke Energy’s carbon proposal shortchange rapid utility-scale renewable energy, battery storage, and clean grid implementation just when it is increasingly affordable and available? Shareholders’ interests over ratepayers?

Importantly, the new federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a game changer and should be factored in Duke Energy’s proposal before the NCUC decision at this year’s end.

IRA will greatly incentivize fast-track decarbonizing to mitigate the dire economic and environmental impacts of climate change we are experiencing through retiring polluting fossil fuel power plants and investing in N.C. affordable clean renewable energy.

The IRA is such a landmark energy policy, it would be a shame to miss the boat just as it arrives! If need be, I hope that NCUC would consider an extension to include the IRA’s contributions to update Duke Energy’s analysis and proposal to everyone’s benefit.

I know this is a very complicated matter, yet we must urgently transition to a low-carbon grid in time to save the planet for our posterity.

With HB 951, I request that Duke Energy submit to NCUC an updated IRA cost and climate benefits analysis to help customers. I urge all N.C. ratepayers to enter a consumer statement to NCUC by Dec. 31, done easily here:

Minta Phillips