CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy has reached an $81 million settlement agreement to end a 2008 lawsuit related to contracts between a former Duke Energy subsidiary and certain large electric customers of Duke Energy Ohio.
The agreement would end a class action lawsuit (Anthony Williams et al. v. Duke Energy Corp. et al.), in which the plaintiffs asserted that contracts between Duke Energy Retail Sales and certain large industrial and business customers of Duke Energy Ohio violated state and federal anti-trust laws.
The plaintiffs claimed those customers received financial benefits through the contracts that other customers did not receive.
Duke Energy, which sold Duke Energy Retail Sales to Dynegy, Inc., earlier this year, denied the allegations and maintained it complied fully with state and federal laws.
The company asserted that the contracts, in effect from 2005 through 2008, were legal under state and federal laws.
Duke Energy also asserted that all Duke Energy Ohio electric customers were treated equally and fairly, and paid appropriate rates as approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio during the years in dispute.
Duke Energy agreed to settle the case to avoid the costs and uncertainties of continued litigation, the company said.
The agreement is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, in Columbus.
Duke Energy shareholders, not customers, would cover the cost of the agreement.
Under the agreement, the $81 million settlement would be allocated as follows:
- Up to $25 million to Duke Energy Ohio residential customers who were customers at any time during the period beginning Jan. 1, 2005 and ending Dec. 31, 2008.
- Up to $25 million to Duke Energy Ohio non-residential customers (such as businesses and local governments) who were customers at any time during the period beginning Jan. 1, 2005 and ending Dec. 31, 2008.
- $8 million to fund energy-related programs to benefit Duke Energy Ohio customers who were customers at any time during the period beginning Jan. 1, 2005 and ending Dec. 31, 2008. Program details would be determined at a later date.
- Remaining funds to pay plaintiffs’ legal fees, settlement fund distribution costs and other expenses.
The plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit – not Duke Energy – would distribute the settlement fund through a claims administrator.
Duke Energy customers and others who have questions about the settlement fund can call the plaintiffs’ claims administrator at 844-322-8220.
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 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 duke-energy.com.
Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.