Sunday, February 1, 2015

NC regulator approves Duke Energy probe settlement

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's utilities regulator is endorsing a settlement ending its investigation into whether Duke Energy misled officials before taking over its in-state rival.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Monday decided the deal was best for the company and its investors, employees and customers.

The commission had the power to reverse or alter its earlier approval allowing the merger with Progress Energy to create the country's largest electric company.

A utilities commission attorney argued the settlement serves the public interest because it affirms the regulator's role over legal monopolies like Charlotte-based Duke Energy. The settlement also requires that Duke's shareholders bear the cost of the investigation and executive severance costs. Duke must come up with another $30 million for ratepayers and low-income assistance.