Duke Energy notifying Midwest customers of payment reporting error

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy is notifying customers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio that some of their monthly payments were reported as “late” to the National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange (NCTUE).

NCTUE is a consumer reporting agency consisting of approximately 70 utility, telecommunication and pay TV providers. It maintains customer payment and account history data that can be used by member and non-member companies in credit-related decisions.

The error potentially affects about 500,000 current and former residential Duke Energy customers in Indiana (approx. 205,000), Ohio (approx. 257,000) and Kentucky (approx. 43,000) who, at any time since 2010, were on payment plans such as Budget Billing and PIPP Plus (Ohio only).

Additionally, payment data for about 5,000 nonresidential customers on payment plans may have been reported incorrectly to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) and Equifax Commercial Services (ECS).

The company also found examples of incorrect reporting in unique situations such as customers who have adjusted due dates and nonutility charges on their bills. Duke Energy is still researching these accounts and has not determined the number of those customers.

Actions Taken

Duke Energy took immediate steps to correct its error. The company no longer reports payment data to NCTUE, D&B or ECS. All information previously reported to NCTUE has been blocked and can no longer be used by others for credit-related decisions; the company has taken similar steps with information reported to D&B and ECS.

This week'’s mailing is just the first step. Duke Energy will also be contacting additional customers throughout the month of October. Any customer who does not receive a letter from Duke Energy by Oct. 31, 2014, and believes he or she may have been affected should call the company'’s hotline at 800-265-6515.

“Taking care of our customers is paramount, and we deeply regret this error has occurred,” said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy senior vice president of customer operations. “We take responsibility and apologize for this mistake.”

Duke Energy has established a phone line for its customers who have questions. The number is 800-265-6515, and representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Key facts about the Midwest payment reporting error

  • This error is not a data breach.
  • Duke Energy did not report incorrect account history information to any of the major credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion or Equifax.
  • Duke Energy accounts have been billed correctly.
  • Data previously reported to NCTUE has been blocked and can no longer be used. Similar steps have been taken with D&B and ECS.
  • Any customer who does not receive a letter from Duke Energy by Oct. 31, 2014, and believes he or she may have been affected should call Duke Energy at 800-265-6515.

Duke Energy Indiana'’s operations provide about 7,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 800,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’'s largest electric supplier.

Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky'’s operations provide electric service to about 830,000 customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area and natural gas service to approximately 500,000 customers.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $115 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.