Progress Energy being bought by Duke forming mega-utility

01/10/11 Seán Kinane
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Progress Energy is being bought by Duke Energy to become one of the country’s largest utilities. When combined, the two North Carolina companies will serve more than 7 million electric customers in six states including Florida. Progress Energy Florida is a subsidiary of Progress Energy and serves customers in Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk counties and other parts of Florida.

Suzanne Grant, a spokesperson for Progress Energy Florida, says customers won’t notice immediate changes.

"Progress Energy will be merging with Duke Energy, the resulting company, which will be called Duke Energy, will be the largest regulated electric utility in the country."

How will the customers be affected?

"Currently our parent company, Progress Energy of Florida's parent company is Progress Energy, headquartered out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Progress Energy Florida will remain the utility serving our customers in the state of Florida. Customers will continue to pay Progress Energy Florida, their service will remain the same."

Are there any changes that people might see if they are Progress customers. say, in Pinellas County?

"No, the Florida utility will continue to be headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida. The integration of the two companies are going to take several months and will be driven in part by necessary regulatory filings which we believe will take about a year. We expect, at this point, that the change will really not be seen by our Florida customers. Since Duke Energy doesn't have regulated electric operations in Florida the change in the near term visible to customers really will be very minimal. We expect over time we will have positive changes for our customers as the part of the benefit of being part of a larger company translates into operational efficiencies. So our hope is that as we emerge and come out of a new larger organization we'll be able to drive safer, faster, less expensive operations that are even more customer focused."

Duke Energy purchased Progress Energy for more than $13 billion in stock.

Previous WMNF coverage of Progress Energy

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