- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A lawyer representing North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says the state Supreme Court should lay out rules for how regulators should consider the consumer impact of electricity rate increases.

The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case brought in Cooper’s continuing fight against higher power rates sought by Duke Energy.

The high court a year ago ordered the North Carolina Utilities Commission to reconsider a 7 percent rate increase it granted Duke Energy Carolinas in January 2012. The commission quickly approved the rate increase again. Cooper sued again, saying regulators didn’t really look at the impact on customers in a territory ranging from Durham through western North Carolina.

A Duke Energy attorney told justices that rate increases benefit customers in the long term by guaranteeing safe, reliable power.

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