ElectriCities Response To WITN Series "Power Struggle"

The CEO of ElectriCities, who was interviewed in our stories last week about customers complaining about high utility bills, is blogging about our reports.

Graham Edwards writes, "There's no question that many people across eastern North Carolina are frustrated with the high cost of electricity. That frustration was evident in a story that aired last night on WITN, an NBC station that covers the Washington, Greenville and New Bern markets."

Those high bills are largely associated with the 2.4 billion dollar debt the NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency, managed by Electricities, continues to pay for buying into nuclear facilities decades ago.

Edwards goes on to says, "NCEMPA" has reduced the debt by more than $1 billion since 1993, but the cities remain obligated to repay $2.4 billion over the next 15 years. Until that debt is paid, there's no silver bullet that can magically reduce electric rates - a point that even Gov. Perdue acknowledged at the end of yesterday's broadcast."

You can read more about what Edwards blogged about our reports by clicking in the link following this story.

Tuesday night at 6:00 we'll continue our reports about the high bills and what some in Raleigh want to do.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Fishtales on May 10, 2011 at 04:34 PM
    Nope I'm not a council member, never have been nor will I ever be one. You need to call wikipedia, they got their FACTS confused with the movie also. 29 cities buying into a nuclear power plant was a great idea but it was bad timing. Yes cities do make money off the sale of electricity and transfer a percentage to the general fund in lieu of higher taxes. People that rent basically don't pay much in taxes but get the same services as those that own. Transferring money from elect. fund is a tax that is collected from ALL people. Sounds fair to me!
  • by Scott on May 10, 2011 at 09:26 AM
    So where are the nuclear plants? My problem is Nuclear power is supposed to be cleaner and cheaper. What happened to that. Another case of necessities gouging their customers because the customer has no recourse. You can't just switch service to a company that isn't so expensive. It is a monopoly. Same thing for gas prices.
  • by Fact Bringer Location: Greenville on May 9, 2011 at 08:41 PM
    What a twisted state.
  • by About Fishtales on May 9, 2011 at 07:34 PM
    Fishtales sounds like a city councilman from Elizabeth City. Malarkey on your history. You are confusing when Jane Fonda and The China Syndrome movie came out with 3 Mile Island's disaster. Electricities was already formed by Jim Hunt and his Democrat cronies to fund the 3 nuclear power plants on the backs of poor NC citizens through revenue bonds from city owned utilities. There was NO shortage of electricity. In fact, Jim Hunt (people, helping people help people) said there was a HUGE future need for electricity (solving tomorrow's problems today). That's why we had to do this stupid ripoff of Electricities. It was sold to spending politicians like you because your predecessors on the city counsils were told they cou8ld overcharge to get money to spend on top of tax money. (keeping local taxes down). All 3 of the slogans in parentheses were used to sell this scam. The people of eastern NC deserve it for blindly voting Democrat for so long. You Electricity supporters keep changing your stories. It was a payoff to CP&L and Duke power!
  • by About Fishtales on May 9, 2011 at 07:34 PM
    Fishtales sounds like a city councilman from Elizabeth City. Malarkey on your history. You are confusing when Jane Fonda and The China Syndrome movie came out with 3 Mile Island's disaster. Electricities was already formed by Jim Hunt and his Democrat cronies to fund the 3 nuclear power plants on the backs of poor NC citizens through revenue bonds from city owned utilities. There was NO shortage of electricity. In fact, Jim Hunt (people, helping people help people) said there was a HUGE future need for electricity (solving tomorrow's problems today). That's why we had to do this stupid ripoff of Electricities. It was sold to spending politicians like you because your predecessors on the city counsils were told they cou8ld overcharge to get money to spend on top of tax money. (keeping local taxes down). All 3 of the slogans in parentheses were used to sell this scam. The people of eastern NC deserve it for blindly voting Democrat for so long. You Electricity supporters keep changing your stories. It was a payoff to CP&L and Duke power!
  • by nic Location: farmvegas on May 9, 2011 at 06:52 PM
    That's a bunch of bull Tom. I live in an old house and until mid 2009 my utility bill was fine... then BAM almost over night it went out of control. We were not living any differently than we normally do and my utility bill jumped about $250 higher than it was the year before at the same time. So you cant tell me it has to do with poor maintenance on someone's home. I have spent quit a bit on maintaining plumbing, heating and air, etc. It all boils down to "GREED"!! It's just a huge mess and we're being taken advantage of!
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2011 at 05:40 PM
    What overhead does the crony staffing at Electricities add to the rates? How many people are needed in headquarters -- especially since they do not manage, operate, bill or service their own distribution system? As little more than a middleman atop a pyramid of outsourced contractors and vendors, how much administrative overhead is consumed by your staff please?
  • by The Echo Location: Kinston on May 9, 2011 at 05:30 PM
    You have the previous leaders of your community to thank for this one. And you have the current ones to thank for them continuing to be high. If they are anything like Kinston's city leaders, there is plenty of blame to go around. The city leaders here take the revenue it gets from the sale of electricity to pay for its government’s general operation. That revenue is supposed to go towards paying the costs of operating the electric system, paying off the Electricities debt, and excess revenue is to be used to lower the rates for customers. But here in Kinston they transfer it in order to pay for salaries, office supplies, and the like. A gross mismanagement of resources, to the point that legislators introduced House Bill 117 to address these issues: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H117v1.pdf As a Kinston Utilities customer, affected by these crazy rates we have to pay, let me say that it is not Electricities' fault. The fault lies in the lap of our leaders.
  • by Fishtales Location: Elizabeth City on May 9, 2011 at 05:16 PM
    OK I'll try, Way back in the early 70's there was an energy shortage. CP&L needed to build more nuclear power plants to keep up with demand, but could get the needed financing. So 29 Cities came together, formed Electricities and bought into the building of 3 new nuclear power plants. The cities would now have ownership with CP&L in these power plants, great idea right? Well halfway into building these nuclear plants, 3 mile Island nuclear power plant had a melt down! The Fed. Gov. steps in and says stop stop stop, these nuclear plants have to be build to the new standards. That drove the cost thru the roof! Lots and lots more cost than what was anticipated, so the cities had to borrow more money, and more money and more money. So now they have all this debt that has to be paid back. So the short answer is 29 Cities that thought it was a good idea to own nuclear power plants, and it was a good idea but the timing was bad!
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on May 9, 2011 at 05:00 PM
    The city of Washington Utilties Department said in another interview about this same mess, that about 40% of our POWER BILL goea to repay this loan. My question is this: WHO IS MONITORING THE REPAYMENT SCHEDULE AND AMOUNTS? Is it someone who has a need for these payments to never end?
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