Make us your home page
Instagram

Q&A: What Duke-Progress Energy merger means to customers

Progress Energy and Duke Energy are expected to complete their multibillion-dollar merger in the next week. It will create the largest electric utility in the country, with more than 7 million customers in six states and 27,000 employees.

So what does this all mean for Progress Energy customers? Here's what you need to know:

Will the merger make my rate go up?

At least not as an immediate result of the merger.

Progress Energy says the merger will not affect Florida retail rates. Rate adjustments will be based, as they are now, on Florida needs. The state Public Service Commission must approve any rate changes. Over time, Progress expects the merger to help the company run more efficiently and reduce the impact of future increases.

Progress Energy Florida customers currently pay significantly higher rates than customers of Tampa Electric and Florida Power & Light, which covers most of South Florida.

Why merge?

Progress CEO Bill Johnson and Duke CEO Jim Rogers say U.S. utilities will need to continue getting larger to support increased demand for power. The larger the utility, the greater its ability to attract capital to invest in new projects. It also increases the utility's influence in the business and political worlds.

What will the merger mean for Progress Energy's broken Crystal River nuclear plant and the proposed Levy County nuclear project?

Duke maintains that it supports Progress' plan to repair Crystal River, but the new board could decide otherwise and choose to decommission it. The proposed $24 billion Levy County nuclear project now is in competition with other proposed nuclear projects that Duke Energy was pursuing. It is unclear which, if any, the new company board will support.

Will the merger result in layoffs?

The merger is expected to result in more than 1,800 job cuts, many of which have already taken place. More than 1,100 come from voluntary severance, 368 from vacancies and about 350 through cuts, including some potentially in Florida.

Where will I send my bill?

The same place you do now. Progress Energy Florida has not announced any changes to bill payment processes or locations as a result of the merger.

Where will I find information about my utility online?

After the merger, Progress Energy Florida customers can continue to access information about the utility and their accounts at progress-energy.com.

Will the name of my utility remain Progress Energy or change to Duke Energy?

Progress Energy Florida will remain the name of the company's Florida arm in the near term. Progress Energy Florida's headquarters will remain in St. Petersburg. The overall company will be known as Duke Energy, with headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.

Will customer service representatives remain in Florida or will I get someone outside my state?

The combined company will have increased resources to meet customers' needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Progress says, "Our customer service representatives will be positioned to efficiently and effectively address our customers' needs."

What happens to the stock Progress Energy shareholders have now?

Progress Energy stock will be replaced with Duke Energy stock after the merger. Progress Energy's shareholders will receive 2.6125 shares of common stock of Duke Energy in exchange for each share of Progress Energy common stock.

Progress Energy shareholders would receive a value of $46.48 per share, or $13.7 billion in total equity value. Duke Energy also will assume approximately $12.2 billion in Progress Energy debt.

Who will run the new combined company?

Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, who had been slated to be chief executive and president of the combined company, resigned by mutual agreement, and Duke's Jim Rogers will assume the role as the merger between the two utilities closed.

Rogers, who originally served as Duke Energy's CEO, was initially slated to be the executive chairman of Duke Energy after the merger.

The board will have 18 members, with 11 picked by Duke's current board and seven by Progress' current board. Of its top 13 officers, seven would come from Duke and six from Progress. Vincent Dolan will remain the president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Florida.

How will the merger affect Tampa Electric?

Tampa Electric, already the smallest of the state's investor- owned utilities, will look even smaller compared to the combined Progress-Duke company and Florida Power & Light, the state's largest utility that is part of the massive NextEra Energy. So far there has been no talk of takeover of Tampa Electric, whose parent is TECO Energy.

Ivan Penn can be reached at ipenn@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2332.

.FAST FACTS

Duke Energy

Based in Charlotte, N.C., it serves the Carolinas, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Assets: $62 billion

Revenues: $14.2 billion

Electric customers: 4 million

Employees: 18,250

Progress Energy

Based in Raleigh, N.C., it was formed in 2000 after Florida Progress agreed to a $5.3 billion buyout by Carolina Power & Light Co. It now serves the Carolinas and Florida.

Assets: $36 billion

Revenues: $8.9 billion

Electric customers: 3.1 million (1.6 million in Florida)

Employees: 11,000

(4,000 in Florida)



10 largest electric utilities

The merger of Duke and Progress would make it the largest utility

in the country.

Customers

(in millions)
Power generation (million megawatts)
Duke7.1244
Exelon6.617
FirstEnergy Corp.627
PG&E Corp.5.236
Edison International4.928
NextEra Energy Inc.4.596
Southern Co.4.4201
American Electric

Power Co. Inc.
4.3189
Consolidated

Edison Inc.
3.61
Xcel Energy Inc.3.475

Source: Edison Electric Institute

Q&A: What Duke-Progress Energy merger means to customers 06/30/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 9:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs and Bucks: HBO's Hard Knocks series boosts local businesses

    Business

    TAMPA — Men can enjoy yoga, including the most athletic ones. That is the message that the co-founder of Camp Tampa, a fitness studio located in South Tampa, wants to push after a few Tampa Bay Buccaneers players were shown practicing on HBO's television series Hard Knocks.

    Longtime hairstylist, Katie Ellwood styles Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander's hair last week at New Identities Hair Studio of Tampa Palms. The camera crew follows Kwon Alexander and other Bucs players during the team's training camp for the HBO show "Hard Knocks," a documentary television series about the ups and downs of an NFL training camp. [Courtesy of New Identities Hair Studio]
  2. Old Time Pottery adds store in Largo

    Business

    LARGO — A home decor and furniture store opened Thursday at 1111 Missouri Ave. N, according to a news release from the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce. This is Old Time Pottery's fourth location in the Tampa Bay area, joining stores in Kenneth City, New Port Richey and Brandon. The company, which has 41 …

  3. Tampa Bay has two new million-dollar ZIP Code areas — is yours one of them?

    Real Estate

    You might not be a millionaire, but chances are greater now that you live in a million-dollar Tampa Bay neighborhood.

    Tampa's ZIP Code 33606 is among the six bay area ZIPs in which at  least 10 percent of the homes are worth $1 million or more. This  Davis Islands home sold in January for $6.275 million. {Courtesy of Smith & Associates]
  4. Powerball jackpot climbs to $510 million, 8th largest

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The Powerball jackpot has climbed to an estimated $510 million, making it one of the largest in U.S. history.

    A store clerk pulls a Powerball ticket from the printer for a customer, Tuesday, in Hialeah, Fla. The Powerball jackpot has has rolled 18 times, since the June 14, drawing, resulting in an estimated $510 million for Wednesday night's drawing. [Associated Press]
  5. Security threat leads Florida to cancel prison visitation

    Crime

    TALLAHASSEE — Visitation to all Florida state prisons has been canceled this weekend after evidence surfaced that inmates are planning possible uprisings to coincide with Saturday's march for prisoners' human rights in Washington, D.C.