Duke, Progress revise merger plan, promise savings

Posted May 8, 2012

— In updated paperwork filed Tuesday with the North Carolina Utilities Commission, Progress Energy and Duke Energy guaranteed their proposed merger would save customers money. They also agreed not the pass along costs from the merger to their retail customers.

"This agreement is an important milestone to move the merger process forward," Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy, said in a statement.

Duke (NYSE: DUK) and Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) proposed the $35 billion deal, which would make the combined company the nation’s largest utility, last summer.

Since that time, concerns about lost jobs and a loss of competition have the merger on hold. At a minimum, Progress said it would move 700 jobs from the current Raleigh headquarters to Charlotte. In December, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission review of the merger plan cited "harmful effects on competition."

In Tuesday's filing, the companies promised to reduce retail rates by $70 million and to swallow any costs for severance pay for those who lose their jobs. 

Approval is back in the hands of the FERC, and the companies have asked for a decision by June 8 with hopes of closing the deal by July 1. 


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  • notodukpgnmerger May 9, 2012

    I forget to mention other reasons you should be concerned when Duke/Progress Management say something is a "good thing" for the customers. Examples..."it is better for us to manage our own Containment Project" - result is a 6 year outage and a $1.3B mess at Crystal River...Nuclear Power is the best option for Florida customers - result $1B spent on Levy County which is now projected at $24B (yes that is Billion)....Clean Coal technology is best for the customers of Indiana - result $3B spent on Edwardsport for a 600 Mwe gas plant.

    The lesson learned - when Progress or Duke executive management say something is good for the customer you should run. So when they say this merger is good for the company employees and the customers it really means it is good for Bill's and Jimmie's pockets.

    This merger is a farce. Hopefully the Feds can save North Carolina from the inside job being performed by the NCUC and the heads of the 2 largest state sanctioned monopolies.

  • ladyblue May 9, 2012

    so we move more towards monopoly of our energy resources now. first it was banking and then communications so of curse energy would be next on the list. not a good idea to take away competition if you want to keep costs down...but then we have strong individuals who do't want competition in our country anymore..............

  • Scubagirl May 9, 2012

    no, no, no!!!

    and to dmpaltman2, rates have already been raised and will be again if this is allowed to happen. It will be to do x, y z and NONE of that will benefit anyone but the CEOs and their bank accounts. WE DO NOT NEED A UTILITY MONOPOLY! The ONLY ones who are for this are management of DE & PE. Not the customers, and not most of the shareholders. JUST SAY NO!!!!

  • WooHoo2You May 9, 2012

    Promising savings right after they asked for a 17 percent rate hike?!? Yeah, they are trying to ‘save’ more of your money in their accounts….

  • aw051 May 9, 2012

    I agree with the comments of all. I do not agree with the merger. It is not for the residential customers nor the senior citizens. Both companies have already agreed not to pass on the merger to the retail business. Well think about if not the business then, who? Lets make it easy us the hard workers who have to count every penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar bill, to pay the hugh increase in everything that comes in the line of food, water, gas, and electric services. Where does the greed ends. It does not. You have the big company CEO's that only push key strokes on a laptop or computer, and then off to the golf course and then a high dollar meal. Where over 75% of NC citizens can not even afford to go. So, no merger for progress energy nor duke should take place. NC think about how many will lose jobs and have lost jobs and benefits. This company will add more to the unemployed.

  • Spidey May 9, 2012

    They just can't take no for an answer can they........

  • charlesboyer May 9, 2012

    In a time where jobs are a premium and where one of the parties has a sordid history of mistruths, this is a bad idea all around. I suppose the real question, however, is how well the lobbyists can wine, dine and yes, bribe, the regulators. In other words, how it always is in this increasingly corrupt state government of ours.

  • livinggood2 May 9, 2012

    How long,after signed,don`t the citizens of NC have any say...When this takeover is enacted,we are in trouble...The People of NC do not want this.Is anyone listening..?

  • Jim Britt May 9, 2012

    We promise this will save us buckets of money (that will never translate into lower energy prices for consumers). Promise.

  • Rebelyell55 May 9, 2012

    Please, please don't let this happen. It'll be a job killing, rate hiking, under the thumb control by a company who does not have the customer best interest at heart. If this happens, everyones rates will go up. The reason the goverment will allow this, is as rate goes up so does the taxes.