Somehow Governor McCrory gets the lions share of the refund, by some odd twist of fate.
Posted 9:03 am, 07/26/2016
stay tuned! I'm sure that somehow a state official will sabotage this thing. He's somehow gotta get his voters on his side.
Posted 5:18 pm, 07/25/2016
Audit finds Duke overstated merger costs, will owe refund to NC customers
Federal auditors have flagged Duke Energy for improperly stating millions of dollars in costs for the 2012 merger between it and Progress Energy.
Auditors for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the company misclassified roughly $130 million in such costs as staffing, lobbying expenses, accounts receivable and non-utility overhead.
They called on Duke to issue refunds to retail and wholesale power customers, but the total amount to be returned is unclear.
In all, FERC auditors cited the utility, based in Charlotte, for eight financial-reporting errors stemming from the merger and the combined companies' operations through January 2016, finding errors that ranged in magnitude from $490,000 to $94.7 million.
The overall impact on customers' bills during the past several years was unclear in both the audit report itself and in Duke Energy's response, which was filed Tuesday with the North Carolina Utilities Commission in Raleigh.
FERC, among other duties, regulates electric utilities that do business across state lines. The state utilities commission regulates the energy industry within North Carolina.
Duke and Progress, two North Carolina-based giants, announced their plan to merge and form the nation's largest regulated utility in early 2011. The marriage took effect in July 2012, about a month after FERC approval.
The combined companies operate in the Southeast and Midwest, serving more than 7 million electric customers with more than 32,000 miles of transmission line, about 57,500 megawatts of generating capacity and annual operating revenue of nearly $24 billion.
The federal report released last week was prepared by the office of enforcement within FERC's division of audits and accounting.
"In the draft report as revised, the (division) made eight findings and 37 recommendations," Duke Energy senior vice president Brian Savoy wrote in a March 30 response to the federal agency. "In sum, Duke Energy accepts five of the eight findings and all associated recommendations.
"Duke Energy respectfully disagrees with, but will not contest, two of the eight findings."
Duke also disagreed with part of an eighth finding involving $94.7 million in accounts receivable, but again will not dispute that finding or any of the auditors' related recommendations, Savoy said.
In his letter to FERC, Savoy added that Duke Energy would complete a "refund analysis" within 60 days after the audit report is finalized, and make rebates to customers within 45 days after FERC gives its reaction to the company's refund analysis.