It is inconceivable that Duke Energy would apply for a 17 percent residential rate increase when its top executives are taking home total compensation packages in the millions of dollars while customers are struggling to pay their bills, including their electric bills.
Duke Energy’s CEO Jim Rogers total pay package increased 29 percent in 2010 to $8.8 million according to the Associated Press.
In addition, outside directors of Duke Energy took home $50,000 in cash and $100,000 in stock and more than $2,000 per meeting of the board. All the directors of Duke Energy appear to be connected to big business with no representation of anyone who would speak for the plight of the average customer.
In addition to Rogers’ salary, he received $422,712 in perks, including $398,484 for aircraft use, $18,487 for employment agreement preparation and $4,000 in charitable contributions according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to other news accounts, if Duke Energy’s $13.7 billion purchase of Progress Energy goes through, the CEO of Progress Energy Bill Johnson will be in for a nice raise of $1.1 million per year in base salary and up to $1.38 million in short-term incentives as well as up to $5.5 million incentives in long term incentives (paid in shares) each year, according to the AP. Other business analysis show that Johnson could receive more than $7 million if he becomes CEO of Duke as proposed.
These salaries and compensation packages are obscene in light of the average rate payer’s struggles to survive financially.
I propose that the Town of Franklin pass a resolution that states the top executives of Duke Energy and its board of directors take a 17 percent cut in their total compensation packages to show in good faith that Duke needs a 17 percent rate increase.
It is difficult to sympathize with a corporation that can afford such extravagant compensation packages to call for a rate increase in these times when so many people are without jobs and/or on a fixed income. Electric service is something that we all must have. It is not a luxury.
Alderman, Town of Franklin