Now think about that for a few minutes before you decide who is right or wrong here. Electricity is a necessity these days. Living and working without electricity is not an option. Here in North Carolina, as in most places, State and Municipal codes require that your homes and businesses always have electricity. Electricity is no longer something you can chose to live without. When Duke Energy turns off your electricity your homes and businesses are then condemned by the City in which you live and you are forced out-- out doors and out of business.
In an article titled Duke Energy may turn out the lights at Greensboro's Civil Rights Museum, the Observer reports:
"Museum officials have turned to the N.C. Utilities Commission for help with Duke’s demand that the nonprofit organization pay $3,224 a month toward a $18,244 credit deposit or risk losing power."
According to the Charlotte Observer, the ICRCM has been behind on their power bill numerous times in the past but is currently caught up on their electric bill. But after many years as a Duke Energy customer, they are now being asked to pony up $18,244 more.
Sounds sleazy to me.
Is this common practice?
Are poor people in North Carolina being hit with second or third credit deposits because they fell behind on bills before? Bills for a utility they cannot legally opt out of? After all, most of us paid credit deposits to Duke Energy when we signed up to do business with them in the first place and many people never get those deposits back.
Seems there might be Constitutional issues here. Especially now that Greensboro government is involved:
What's that? Duke Energy contacted the Mayor and City Manager but didn't contact the ICRCM Director? Can you say, COLLUSION?
But hey, even if you hate IRCRM founders Skip Alston and Earl Jones, even if you think the City of Greensboro should take over the ICRCM, even if you hate black people, even if you think the ICRCM should be closed forever....
Can you honestly say you believe it is okay for private companies to just up and decide they are entitled to collect extra fees because you used to be behind on your bill?
If yes, then you must really believe that Duke Energy is God.
And folks, Duke Energy is a nation wide company, this story should be shared nation wide.
Update: In a press release the City of Greensboro claims no involvement in the business between Duke Energy and the ICRCM but FAILS TO DENY that Mayor Vaughan and City Manager Westmoreland were contacted by Duke Energy:
"GREENSBORO, NC (May 11, 2017) – Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and City Manager Jim Westmoreland have issued the following statement about the International Civil Rights Center and Museum (ICRCM) billing dispute with Duke Energy.
“The City of Greensboro has been and remains a significant funder and supporter of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. We view the current billing dispute between the Museum and Duke Energy as a private matter. Any allegations or statements made by Museum officials regarding the City’s involvement in this matter, or interest in the Museum, are completely baseless and very disappointing.”
This press release can be found hosted here http://greensboro101.com/news-release-mayor-and-city-manager-issue-statement-about-icrcmduke-energy-dispute/
and here: http://www.greensboro-nc.gov//index.aspx?page=36&recordid=9449&returnURL=%2findex.aspx