(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by Duke Energy Corp. and received via e-mail. The release
was confirmed by the sender.)
September 27, 2012
Duke Energy ‘committed to Raleigh for the long term,’ CEO Rogers
tells business gathering
RALEIGH, N.C. - Below are excerpts from remarks made today by
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers at the Triangle Business Journal’s
“Power Breakfast,” a gathering of business and community leaders
held at the Raleigh Marriott City Central.
Thank you for being here. I look forward to our conversation and
to hearing what’s on your mind.
It’s a privilege for Duke Energy to serve this community.
Raleigh is central to our future. It’s our state capital. It’s
also our company’s new state headquarters.
We’re committed to Raleigh for the long term. I couldn’t imagine
it any other way.
How can you not like a city that one magazine rated as having
the best quality of life in America? And another rated as one of
the top U.S. cities “getting smarter the fastest.”
That’s what I need - to get smarter faster.
I surround myself with innovative thinkers and people with a
passion for achieving the right results in the right way.
The Triangle has extraordinary talent - a mix of global
companies, world-class universities and entrepreneurial spirit.
In my opinion, this area demonstrates what’s possible as our
state reinvents itself in a changing economy.
We want to build on Progress Energy’s proud history of service
and civic involvement in Raleigh and Eastern North Carolina.
That started here on Fayetteville Street more than a century
We recognize that our future as a company is tied to the
vitality of the communities we serve.
Duke Energy’s State President for North Carolina is Brett Carter
- now based in Raleigh, a block up the street.
He’s here today, and I’d like to ask him to stand. Many of you
have met Brett.
If so, you know that he and his team are passionate about
economic development and community involvement.
We’re working with local leaders to build on the success of this
community, and to strengthen communities across the state in the
83 counties we serve.
One recent example: Duke Energy is a founding member of the
Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster.
This month, we joined others to announce a broader initiative -
E4 Carolinas. The goal is a super-regional energy hub in the
Carolinas. We can leverage the cluster of smart grid companies
and other firms in the Triangle, and energy companies in the
Charlotte area and South Carolina.
This is just one way we can work together to promote job
creation and innovation. Who knows? It might even help bridge
the divide between Raleigh and Charlotte.
We’re now three months into the merger that combined two strong
companies based in North Carolina for a century.
The 18-month approval process took its toll on everyone,
This was my third utility merger. Each one had its challenges,
but this was the most difficult and most complicated.
We were rejected by FERC twice before reaching an acceptable
The CEO change at the end was a big surprise to this community
in particular. That’s not what we had in mind at the start of
this long journey.
And I’m sorry it created more anxiety about this merger. Some of
you already viewed the merger with mixed feelings.
The board made the decision that it felt it needed to make. As I
hope you can appreciate, this is all I will say about this
because these matters are subject to current investigations.
What I can say is that we are moving forward.
We’re focused every day on delivering on the benefits of this
merger - for our customers, communities and investors, as well
as our employees.
For customers, that began Day One when we started jointly
dispatching power across the Carolinas.
Coupled with the other fuel savings, we will produce customer
benefits of $650 million in the next few years.
We’re also well along in completing staffing and stabilizing the
My experience in talking with employees is that they want to
move forward too. They want to contribute to the success of this
Our employees are dedicated to our core mission of service -
providing reliable, affordable, increasingly clean electricity
to customers in safe, sustainable ways 24/7.
We know millions of people count on us, even when they’re not
thinking about us.
Our merger and business strategy reflect changes in the utility
industry. This is a capital-intensive, long-view business. Our
nation’s energy landscape is undergoing transformative change.
The changes are driven, in part, by new environmental rules and
aging infrastructure; by the shale gas revolution; and by
After years of relative stability, the price of electricity
around the country is trending higher.
Utilities are making large capital investments to replace aging
plants, modernize the grid and meet new regulations.
As you may have read, Progress Energy Carolinas is getting ready
to file its first general rate case in 25 years. Details to come
We know it’s never a good time to raise rates. So we’re doing
all we can to promote energy efficiency and help low-income
We’re trying to anticipate and adapt to change in a way that
moderates price increases and prepares for the future.
That’s one reason for the merger. Our new larger scale helps us
raise the required capital at a lower cost.
The combination of these two companies will lead to lower costs.
This decrease will help mitigate future rate increases driven by
capital investments to upgrade our power system.
We’re retiring older coal plants and building new high-efficiency units fueled by natural gas.
We’re investing in the digital grid, innovation and clean-energy
And we’re rethinking traditional utility business models, and
searching for new ways to partner with customers.
I’ll stop now because I want to get the two-way, question-and-answer part of this conversation going.
Thank you again for coming this morning. It’s a privilege for me
to be here.
Duke Energy is strongly committed to this community and to the
future we can build together.
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.