Facing South

INSTITUTE INDEX: Duke Energy takes from the 99%, gives to data giants

Date on which the energy watchdog group N.C. WARN filed a petition with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to change the way Duke Energy sets its electricity rates: 5/1/2012

Under Duke's current system, number of times more small businesses pay per kilowatt hour than massive data centers operated by Google, Apple and Facebook, which the utility has been helping recruit to its North Carolina service area: 3

Excluding fuel costs, which are virtually equal for all customer classes, average amount paid per kilowatt hour by Duke Energy's data center customers: 2.45 cents

By its residential customers: 6.74 cents

By its small business customers: 7.64 cents

Number of hours per year of customer usage that Duke considers when setting its prices: 1

Rank of that "Summer Coincident Peak" hour among the year's hottest, when households and small businesses are running air conditioning at full blast: 1

Under this pricing system, if residential customers use 30% of Duke Energy's electricity for 8,759 hours of the year but 60% for one peak hour, percentage they would pay of the company's total production costs: 60

If data centers and other consistently heavy power consumers use an average of 30% of Duke Energy's electricity for 8,759 hours of the year but 20% for one peak hour, percentage they would pay of the company's total production costs: 20

Number of times over the past 20 years that the N.C. Utilities Commission has rejected the summer peak method for setting rates: 2

Number of other North Carolina utilities that use the summer peak rate calculation method: 0

Number of times more electricity Duke Energy's average data center customers use compared to the average small business customer: 3,200

Amount in tax breaks, infrastructure upgrades and other incentives Google received to locate a data center in Lenoir, N.C.: $212 million

Amount in state tax breaks alone Apple is slated to receive over a decade as part of the deal to lure a data center to Maiden, N.C.: $46 million

Amount in megawatts of the maximum electricity demand for Apple's North Carolina data center: 100

Number of average U.S. homes whose electricity use that equals: 80,000

Profits earned last year by Apple: $34.2 billion

By Google: $26.57 billion

By Facebook: $1 billion

By Duke Energy: $1.71 billion

Median income for a North Carolina household: $45,570

(Click on figure to go to source. Many of the numbers in this index are from a report from N.C. WARN titled "On the Backs of Families and Small Businesses: Duke Energy Carolinas Justifies New Power Plants by Giving Breaks to the World's Richest Corporations." Photo of servers inside Apple's iDataCenter in North Carolina by Apple.)

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