Duke Energy Decides to Promote Conservation

How often do you work hard on a hot political issue, and win?
This winter, the No Carolina Council of Churches member churches and many other advocacy groups wrote to the Public Utilities Commission, and testified at the public hearings. We argued that folks with morals in NC are ready to conserve, use alternative fuels, anything, to stop global warming. We argued that the two coal fired plants that Duke Energy wanted approved were not in keeping with what we all know is POSSIBLE: ie. conservation, and alternative fuels, and global warming.

Well amazing enough, the Public Utilities Commissioners voted to allow only one of the two new coal fired plants.

And in yesterdays N&O Business section: UTILITY'S PLAN: CUT ENERGY USE. yup. in a pretty much about face, the leader of Duke Energy, Jim Rogers, has agreed that Duke Energy can and will encourage conservation! (this concept had been characterized as "pie in the Sky")Duke Energy says they can turn off our A/C and refrigerators for ten minutes and that this is the equivalent of shutting down a major power plant?

The remaining challenge is that they still want the right to earn more money, when we use less electricity? Someone needs to watch this negotiation for the fine print. You can sell us less Electricity, and we will pay you more. I am happy to do that if I have to. But I hope no one accuses energy company of being like the supposed welfare queens, who supposedly like being unemployed and receiving the check for not working.

I think that the threat of global warming and the destruction of our way of life, might make this deal palatable. But I hope smarter folks than I will scrutinize this carefully.

LESSON LEARNED: the best democracy can do is ensure that the competing forces cross examine, hold accountable, disagree, argue, and challenge each other. Without the Envir Defense Org., NCWARN, other Citizen activists, NC Council of Churches "Interfaith Power and Light, we would not have had such a good decision about coal use.

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Thanks for pointing this out

There's so much to keep track of these days. This is encouraging on its face.

Duke Energy

I think we all need to be ready to really push soon for other energy projects that the Legislators will be considering. I believe that it was all the work that Env Defense and Southeastern something or other did, AS WELL As the fact that we had about 100 plain citizens writing and testifying in Charlotte and Raleigh. The Utilities Commissioners had never been visited by so many plain citizens.

I resisted the temptation to tell them that it was their beach houses at stake. But they are good folks who just are used to the Utilities Lawyers persuasiveness.


if you don't make it profitable

For these companies to encourage conservation, then every economic incentive will be for them to actively discourage it.

Just human nature. They sell power. They make money when you use their product.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire