Southern Alliance for Clean Energy hosts Pitchfork Protest for Upset Duke Energy Customers

Guest Blog | October 29, 2014 | Press Releases

Ratepayers continue to be charged for canceled nuclear project

Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865.235.1448, [email protected]


St. Petersburg, Fla. (October 29, 2014) – At noon today, frustrated Duke Energy customers will gather for a ’Pitchfork Protest’ in Williams Park, hosted by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). Ratepayers are outraged that Duke Energy is charging for power plants that won’t be built and that are not needed. At the same time, Florida’s monopoly utilities are actively working to eliminate their energy efficiency programs.

“People are tired of being gouged by their power company so we wanted to provide a chance to turn the tables and let customers stick it to the utility for a change,” says Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “We’re just supplying the pitchforks, Duke Energy and the legacy Progress Energy are supplying the angry customers.”

The group will offer a free lunch or a refund of $3.45, the amount the average Duke Energy customer pays each month for the canceled Levy County nuclear project, to the first 500 protesters who bring a copy of their electric bill.

“We’re offering refunds and meals because utilities shouldn’t be the only ones getting a free lunch. Frankly it’s a crime,” says Susan Glickman, Florida Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “This protest is a necessary step to address the complete insensitivity and lack of cooperation that Duke Energy and other monopoly utility companies in Florida have shown.”

“I encourage Florida to let the sun in and add energy choice for utility customers. I believe solar will help provide that choice,” says Debbie Dooley, founder of the Green Tea Coalition and Conservatives For Energy Freedom and speaker at today’s event. “Utility customers deserve freedom to choose which energy form they want to use.”

“As a lifelong Conservative and Floridian who is active in politics, I can say that supporting the opening of Florida to solar and renewable energy through the free market and allowing individuals to choose from all of the above is a natural fit for Republicans and citizens alike,” says Tory Perfetti, Florida Director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “Conservatives for Free Energy supports all energy choices and we feel confident that Florida will continue its tradition of allowing entreprenurialism to flourish.”

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Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at