NC critic to challenge Duke Energy merger in court

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Associated Press

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 5:01 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A group critical of the merger that made Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. the country's largest electric company says it will seek to undo or revise the deal in a North Carolina appeals court.

NC WARN said Wednesday it is challenging the North Carolina Utilities Commission's approval of the deal combining Duke Energy with Raleigh-based Progress Energy.

The group says the commission's failure to fully protect consumers from costs to update and expand the company's nuclear reactors could overwhelm the promised merger-related savings of $650 million.

Duke Energy says the group's bid to undo the six-month-old merger is meritless.

The company plans to seek a rate increase within weeks. Duke Energy last year was allowed to raise electricity rates by 7 percent, an increase challenged by the state Justice Department.

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