Duke Energy's current territorial agreement with PRECO will expire in December 2019
New agreement will eliminate duplication of facilities in service area
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Duke Energy Florida announced today it will file a request with the Florida Public Service Commission to transfer approximately 3,000 customers in Hardee County and a small area of Polk County (north of Bowling Green) to Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO).
The company's current territorial agreement with PRECO will expire in December 2019; however, before the current agreement expires, Duke Energy and PRECO will enter into a new territorial agreement to revise the service area boundaries between the two utilities and allow each company to continue to provide safe and reliable electricity.
Customers affected by the transfer will be notified by mail.
Territorial agreements allow for the efficient delivery of electrical service and establish and define geographical areas where a utility is the exclusive provider of electric service. These agreements also avoid the duplication of electrical distribution lines, services and facilities of utilities in the same communities.
PRECO will serve the transferred residential and business customers through the electric distribution system, and Duke Energy Florida will continue to retain and expand transmission-level services within Hardee County.
"With new growth and development over the years, utility company service areas may overlap, which results in duplicate facilities such as power poles and lines in the same areas," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. "Although we regret not having the opportunity to continue to serve these customers, we're confident PRECO will do an excellent job meeting their energy needs, and both companies will work together to ensure a smooth transition."
The proposed agreement requires Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approval and will be filed on Aug. 31, 2018. The approval process could take up to six months. Once approved, it may take up to three years to complete the transition. Customers will have an opportunity to provide comments to the FPSC during its review process.
"PRECO has a long-standing commitment to the local community," said Randy Shaw, general manager and CEO of PRECO. "This territorial agreement provides the framework for both companies to gain operational efficiencies and ensure customers continue to receive the safe, reliable electric service they expect and deserve."
PRECO will request approval from the FPSC to allow customers to either keep their current rate or move to PRECO's rates for the first few years after their service has been transferred.
On average, customers' bills will remain about the same. As of July 2018, the total monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month is $124.16 for Duke Energy and $128.78 for PRECO.
PRECO Open House
All customers affected by the transfer are invited to an open house event on Tuesday, Aug. 14, from 3-7 p.m. at PRECO's headquarters located at 210 Metheny Road, Wauchula, FL 33873. Customers can ask questions of both utilities and meet members of the PRECO team.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
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Peace River Electric Cooperative
Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO), a Touchstone Energy® distribution electric cooperative headquartered in Wauchula, Fla., provides electric service and energy solutions to more than 40,000 member/consumers in 10 central Florida counties: Brevard, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Osceola, Polk and Sarasota. Through almost 4,000 miles of power lines, the electric cooperative has been in business since 1940 as a member-owned, not-for-profit organization.
Contact: Valerie Patterson