Duke rate hike deserves protest

First of all, Duke energy is seeking this new rate increase due to increases in their so-called operating costs, per the Tribune-Star’s article on July 28. 

The first item on their list of reasons for the needed rate increase was the “cost of statewide implementation of their smart meters.” Theses meters were supposed to have initially been free to customers, to better and faster acknowledge their outages and faster repairs. This should not be a cost to consumers as it is really a labor cost savings to Duke Energy, as many people that work at Duke will not be needed as meter readers. This should be a cost of Duke doing business. 

The second item on their list was ash pond closures at its coal-fired boiler facilities. This again is a cost to do business, not to be absorbed by our consumers in a rate increase.

The third item on their list was consumers to pay for their closures of old coal-fired generation facilities earlier than they expected. This is not the consumers’ responsibility to pay for. This is another cost of Duke doing business.

The fourth item on their fantasy list is to have consumers cover their cost for tree trimming and vegetation removal, another cost of doing business.

The fifth item on Duke’s reasons for a rate hike was the consumer should pay more per month to cover plugin electric vehicles incentives and additional improvements throughout the utility’s Indiana transmission and distribution system, including line sensors and additional grid technology. Again this would be a cost to do business in Indiana, not more rate increases, for a company already making millions of dollars profit with the rates they already are charging.

Enough is enough. Please attend the meeting scheduled for Sept. 23, 2019, at Terre Haute South Vigo High School Auditorium at 5:45 p.m. to discuss your concerns about this rate hike proposal.

— Gary L. Isle, Terre Haute

Vent your anger in mayoral race

Tired of rate increases, added fees, and new taxes? Not surprising. In recent years, the city and county have adopted the logo Extortion-R-Us. Did I mention there is a mayoral election in November?

Equally tiresome is the assertion with each new gouge that blood loss is minimal. A.k.a. “death by a thousand cuts” salesmanship. Did I mention there is a mayoral election in November?

Many see rejecting the upcoming school referendum as the first real opportunity to vent anger. Please reconsider. Rejecting the referendum will hurt students, not those profiting at the expense of taxpayers. Did I mention there is a mayoral election in November?

Rate increases, added fees, and new taxes just reflect years of economic underachievement. Ask yourself who is responsible (think sludge-to-diesel) for the underachievement and vote accordingly. Did I mention there is a mayoral election in November?

— Jim Hughes, Terre Haute

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