Some Triangle residents this month started getting hit with hefty electricity bill increases that will soon become the new energy reality for all.
Apex and Wake Forest raised residential electricity rates about 12 percent this month, among the first cities to pass on the surging cost of coal and other fuels needed to generate electricity at power plants. Clayton approved a 9.4 percent increase effective Sept. 1, and other cities will soon follow.
Those towns are among the 32 communities that buy their power from N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency. The power agency this month started charging the towns 14 percent more for electricity. Each town's council or utility authority decides how much of that increase to pass on to its residents.
The regional power agency obtains virtually all its power from Progress Energy power plants. Raleigh-based Progress, which serves 1.25 million North Carolina customers who aren't served by municipal utilities, has already asked state regulators for a 16.2 percent residential increase, mostly to cover rising fuel costs, effective Dec. 1.
That increase, the highest in at least a quarter-century, is so dramatic that the N.C. Utilities Commission will likely phase it in over several years to reduce what regulators call "rate shock" to customers.
But many member communities of the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency are passing on the cost increases now. Read the complete story at newsobersver.com