Duke Energy Doubles Down on Gas With Updated Energy Plan


Raleigh, NC – Recently, Duke Energy filed an update for its combined Carbon Plan and Integrated Resource Plan (CPIRP) with the North Carolina Utility Commission - a filing that shows the rate of growth for Duke Energy's electric usage load is currently 8 times higher than the growth projected in 2022. Duke’s filing also outlines the buildout of a new methane gas plant – which would undermine its promise of a clean energy transition. 

As a monopoly, Duke wields immense control over how and when North Carolinians get power and how much residents pay for it. As the state experiences growth and transition across the state, Duke has the potential to be at the forefront of leading the clean energy transition. Instead, the utility is doubling down on gas buildouts.

“Once again, Duke Energy wants to sink massive amounts of money into dirty methane gas.” Mikaela Curry, Sierra Club Field Manager, said, “Duke continues to create artificial barriers to renewable energy, and this fossil-focused approach leaves customers stuck with skyrocketing energy bills while our communities suffer from polluted air and water. Duke’s profit focus results in a dangerous lose-lose situation for both people and the climate.”

In its original plans, Duke publicly committed to count all emissions from new fossil fuel plants, including those built outside of North Carolina. Now, in its supplemental documents, Duke walks back on its commitments to clean energy by omitting emissions from its new proposed gas plant in South Carolina, which would bring higher bills and more pollution to South Carolina communities. 

“Duke’s update underestimates the value of investing in clean solutions like energy efficiency, which we know is the cheapest source of carbon-free energy,” said Nick Jimenez, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represents the Sierra Club, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. “North Carolinians deserve a safe and affordable future to look forward to – but we won’t get there through Duke’s short-sighted plan.”

“Duke’s latest proposal is to spend ratepayers’ money on risky, unreliable, long-term fossil fuel infrastructure to meet speculative and potentially short-lived electricity demand,” said Maggie Shober, Research Director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “We look forward to shining a light on how risky Duke’s plan really is.”

"Duke Energy's latest carbon plan makes it clear that they are playing by their own rules and failing to get serious about achieving North Carolina's climate goals. It's impossible for North Carolina to meet 70% reductions in power-sector carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050 with the massive new fleet of gas generation that Duke has proposed," said Drew Ball, Southeast Campaign Manager at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). "Not only that, but Duke calls for minimal new solar and artificially caps storage without regard to cost-effectiveness, resulting in a costly and risky plan. Duke Energy Carolinas customers could pay 73% more per month if this plan is approved."

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.