CINCINNATI - Duke Energy customers had another opportunity to voice their opinions on a proposed rate increase Wednesday evening at a public meeting held at Union Township Civic Center Hall.
If approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the rate hike would increase customers’ gas bills by $10.25 (6 percent) per month and electric bills by $6.50 (5 percent) per month. Duke wants to use some of the money to clean up old gas plant sites.
"What we've asked for is for the commission to rule on monies that we've already spent on improving our infrastructure in the state of Ohio to get our energy out to our customers. It's what we call a distribution rate case, one that we haven't had in the state of Ohio since 2007," said Duke Energy spokesperson Sally Thelen before the meeting.
Duke says the current rate hike proposal does not include money for the streetcar. The city and Duke are debating in court for who pays for moving utility lines. Duke has asked PUCO for permission to charge Cincinnati for moving the lines.
One Duke Energy customer is concerned the rate increase would set a precedent for future issues.
"We have a fear that this would encourage other cities and municipalities to the extent that they have projects and have high costs of relocating facilities, and if this goes through, it will probably encourage other cities and municipalities to do the same thing, and that is to hide some of the costs by getting the utility company to pass it on to the electricity users rather than taxpayers to directly fund it," said Eastern Hills Community Tea Party member Jay Groenke.
You can share your opinion with the PUCO at one of the two remaining public hearings:
Monday, Feb. 25 - 6:30 p.m.
City Building, City Council Chambers
1 Donham Plaza, Middletown, 45042
Thursday, Feb. 28 - 12:30 p.m.
Cincinnati City Hall, Council Chambers
801 Plum Street, Cincinnati, 45202
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