The following unedited email was sent by Duke Energy’s corporate communications staff to the company on November 29. Key points related to Progress Energy have been highlighted.
Today Duke Energy filed a settlement agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). The agreement between Duke Energy, the Staff of the NCUC and the North Carolina Public Staff resolves all issues related to the matters under review by the NCUC resulting from the leadership change that occurred after the close of the Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger in early July.
In addition, Jim Rogers announced his intent to retire as chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy by the end of 2013, upon the expiration of his employment contract. See Jim Rogers’ message to all employees regarding this announcement.
The settlement agreement filed with the NCUC today contains a number of provisions that are listed below, including some personnel moves at the Senior Management Committee level. Other leadership changes will be announced after the NCUC reaches its decision on the settlement agreement, which could occur as early as Monday, Dec. 3.
“This settlement agreement is an important step forward for the company because it resolves one of our key near-term priorities, bringing closure to the NCUC merger review process,” said Rogers. “We are already delivering significant benefits from the merger for our customers and investors and are well-positioned for the future as a stronger, more efficient organization.”
Under the agreement, which is subject to approval by the NCUC, Duke Energy agrees to the following key provisions:
- Providing additional merger commitments related to maintaining at least 1,000 employees in Raleigh, North Carolina, guaranteeing an additional $25 million in fuel and fuel-related cost savings to North Carolina ratepayers, and making $5 million in additional contributions to support workforce development and low-income assistance in North Carolina;
- Making certain personnel changes including moving Lloyd Yates, currently Executive Vice President, Customer Operations, into the job of Executive Vice President, Regulated Utilities and employing a new General Counsel;
- Creating a special committee of the Board of Directors to oversee the recommendation of a successor to Jim Rogers upon his retirement and the search for two new Board members;
- Agreeing to defer the filing of a general rate case by Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC in North Carolina until February 2013, with the understanding that it will be allowed to defer the depreciation and operation costs of new generation incurred from the commercial operation of new generation until the effective date of new base rates; and
- Retaining John McArthur, the former General Counsel of Progress Energy, Inc., on a contract basis to advise the company for two years on regulatory and legislative matters in North Carolina.
- Marc Manly and Keith Trent will assume new leadership roles to be announced following the NCUC’s approval of the settlement agreement.
The settlement agreement does not constitute and should not be construed as an admission or acknowledgement of any illegal or improper acts by Duke Energy.
A full copy of the settlement agreement is available on the NCUC website, under Docket E-7, Sub 1017.
The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, which has been conducting its own investigation independent of the NCUC’s review, is not party to this settlement agreement. The company will continue to cooperate with the Attorney General’s office and work toward a resolution.
Additional updates will be shared as developments unfold.