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News Release | NCPIRG Education Fund | Budget

NEW REPORT: North Carolina Receives "B+" in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

North Carolina received a “B+” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2015: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the sixth annual report of its kind by the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

CFPB Adds Consumer Stories to Public Complaint Database | Ed Mierzwinski

Today, the CFPB took a step to make its excellent public database of consumer complaints even better, by adding complaint narratives (stories), but only with the consumer's consent. It's a step we've long urged. It will enrich our research into the marketplace, help consumers make choices and help good-actor firms avoid bad practices by others.

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Report | NCPIRG Education Fund | Budget

Following the Money 2015

Every year, state governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars through contracts for goods and services, subsidies to encourage economic development, and other expenditures. Accountability and public scrutiny are necessary to ensure that the public can trust that state funds are spent as well as possible. 

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

As NY Brings Credit Bureaus To Heel, CFPB Arbitration Study Paves Way Toward New Protections | Ed Mierzwinski

Two big consumer stories so far this week offer hope to consumers victimized by credit bureau errors and, more generally, by an inability to take credit bureaus, credit card companies, banks or payday lenders to court when harmed. On Monday, New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman signed a groundbreaking agreement with the Big Three credit bureaus, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. Then today, the CFPB released a report finding that consumer legal rights are infringed by small-print forced arbitration clauses in credit card and other contracts.  The CFPB will hold a webcast public hearing at 11am Eastern time today (Tuesday) to discuss the report's findings and next steps.

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Media Hit | Financial Reform

Credit Bureaus’ Deal to Improve Accuracy ‘Huge’ for Consumers

(Bloomberg) -- Buying homes, getting jobs and borrowing money will be easier after an agreement by the three biggest U.S. consumer credit reporting services with New York.[...] “It’s a sea change in the way the credit bureaus treat complaints,” said [U.S. PIRG's Ed] Mierzwinski. “The credit bureaus have been run by computers for years now. They’re going to have to hire more people and actually verify that what a creditor said is true.”

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N.C. to weigh alternative to Duke's Save-A-Watt

N.C. regulators have agreed to consider a proposal for an independent energy-conservation program offered by opponents of Duke Energy Carolinas’ Save-A-Watt program, which would give Duke and its customers incentives to cut the need for power.

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News Release | NCPIRG | Consumer Protection

Citizen groups file for independent energy saving program, NC SAVE$

Raleigh, NC.  Today, over one dozen consumer, senior, justice, and environmental groups descended upon the Utilities Commission to support a legal petition for an independently-run energy efficiency program.  The move comes during the second round of hearings on Duke Energy’s controversial energy efficiency proposal, Save-a-Watt, which began today. 

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Duke Energy pursuing compromise on Save-a-Watt

Duke Energy Carolinas is negotiating a compromise with some principal opponents of its proposed Save-A-Watt energy-efficiency program, seeking an agreement they would jointly recommend to state regulators.

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Duke Energy eyes expansion at Rockingham plant

Duke Energy Carolinas may expand its gas-fired plant in Rockingham County, increasing its capacity more than 80%.

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Only Dim Bulbs Like Save-a-Watt Plan

Energy efficiency technology is the cheapest, cleanest and quickest way to meet new energy demand. Duke’s energy efficiency proposal, however, is a lemon. It ties the price for energy efficiency to the cost of expensive coal and nuclear plants.

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