From the N&O (Power bills ...):
Some Triangle residents this month started getting hit with hefty electricity bill increases that will soon become the new energy reality for all.
Apex and Wake Forest raised residential electricity rates about 12 percent this month, among the first cities to pass on the surging cost of coal and other fuels needed to generate electricity at power plants. Clayton approved a 9.4 percent increase effective Sept. 1, and other cities will soon follow.
Energy experts have warned that the era of cheap energy is coming to an end amid rising global demand for coal and other energy sources. North Carolina, long accustomed to some of the cheapest electricity rates in the nation, has managed to escape the cost run-ups that have increased electricity costs in the West Coast and Northeast.
At the risk of life and limb, this is, er, good news in terms of economic efficiency. Higher energy prices are the single best way of reducing energy consumption.