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NC justices uphold ruling leading to utility rates

RALEIGH — The state Supreme Court has upheld a decision by North Carolina electric power regulators that allowed a Duke Energy subsidiary to raise rates on residential customers of the former Progress Energy by 7.5 percent over two years.

The justices agreed Wednesday there was enough evidence to justify the state Utilities Commission’s decision last year on a specific profit margin. The increase affects former Progress Energy customers in much of eastern North Carolina and in Asheville.

Attorney General Roy Cooper had appealed the commission’s decision, saying it failed to consider in detail the economic impact on customers when determining return on equity.

Justice Barbara Jackson wrote Wednesday’s ruling, which had no dissenting opinions. She said the agreement with Duke Energy included several provisions serving customer interests.

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