NC Lawmakers Listening To Cities' Power Debt Woes

The head of a trade association managing an electric power agency serving eastern North Carolina says selling shares in power plants the agency owns is still being considered if it means getting rid of debt towns and cities must repay.

ElectriCities Chief Executive Officer Graham Edwards spoke Tuesday to a legislative panel examining why hundreds of thousands of eastern residents and businesses pay more for electricity than others and what can be done to provide relief.

The higher rates stem from cities 30 years ago investing in power plants and facing mounting debt from construction delays, cost overruns and regulations. The debt reached $3.6 billion but is now $2.1 billion.

Edwards said he's hopeful any sale would reach a price at or above the debt balance.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ben Location: Kinston on Jan 11, 2012 at 05:29 AM
    While many of us struggle to pay our electric bills "fat cats" who manage this legalized extortion scam are likely smiling all the way to the bank.
  • by former city resident Location: kinston, nc on Jan 11, 2012 at 05:25 AM
    I have to agree with NC Rebel, all they are doing is Passing the Buck!
  • by small business on Jan 11, 2012 at 03:43 AM
    "Cost overruns" can also be spelt "corruption." Everyone with enough interest to read this comments section might also spend some time researching home based energy production. It might, repeat MIGHT, be worth investing in by individuals.
  • by Alpha Location: Lenoir on Jan 11, 2012 at 03:36 AM
    For many years the local utilities used the profits from the sale of electricity to subsidize programs and a lower tax base. The utilities used these same funds during this time to pay off their outstanding debt. Now without these debt payments the utilities are free to lower the cost of providing power while the city is forced to either raise taxes and or maintain higher utility premiums. I have no sympathy
    • reply
      by NCRebel on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM in reply to Alpha
      Just curious Alpha who you have no sympathy for? Tarboro citizens still pay additional rates to supposedly keep our property tax from being even higher.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 10, 2012 at 06:28 PM
    I wonder how many "insiders" will end up with plum deals from this effort.
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Jan 10, 2012 at 05:37 PM
    Oh they are listening alright. They are looking at new ways to screw us as Americans. America is not on a downhill spiral anymore. It's now a straight shot down the tube.
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Jan 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM
    How did this nation become so dependent on luxuries like lights, telephone, and gasoline? Maybe gas lights should come back in style, along with alternative travel and communication; it's not that far-fetched. We just need to stop relying on these monopolies/GRIDS for our 'entertainment', as that is about what these services provide. What would we replace these with? home cooking, book reading, time with our families, a good night's rest,and skeet shootin', for starters.
  • by Cboy on Jan 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM
    The cities that signed on to this deal have had 30 years to pay this debt down but have chosen to divert those funds to other projects and refinance the loans to (cook) balance the books and look good financially. Now that the crap has hit the fan instead of honoring their debt they want the almighty govt to step in and save their butts. It's a shame that has become the new definition of "The American Way"
  • by NCRebel Location: Tarboro on Jan 10, 2012 at 04:38 PM
    I hope they can fix it. I am tired of my local officials keep claiming they can do nothing about it. Sounds like nothing more that passing the buck. You can only wonder why anyone would want to move here with these rediculous rates coupled with our property tax rates. Good thing it is so close to the coast
  • by Anonymous on Jan 10, 2012 at 04:35 PM
    And that's all they will do is just pretend to listen.
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