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NC regulators clear hurdle to Duke-Progress merger

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EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina utilities regulators have approved the merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy, the last major hurdle to creating the largest American electric company.

North Carolina Utilities Commission Chairman Edward Finley Jr. said Friday the deal was the best possible in an environment of energy industry consolidation. Finley says it was preferable for the two North Carolina-based companies to combine rather than be bought up by a company elsewhere.

Conditions to the merger include the companies passing along at least $650 million in savings to customers.

The combined company will serve about 3 million customers in North Carolina and 4 million more in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and South Carolina.

South Carolina regulators still must approve the merged company's plan for operating its combined generation system.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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650 Million Dollars

I can see it now. The two (2) companies both agree to the passing of $650 million in savings to customers. I can see it now. The new company within the next two (2)years will request rate increases in an effort to recover the 650 million plus interest they gave to customers in savings. They will get the rate increases because under North Carolina Law, a Regulated Utility in this state cannot lose money. So we might as well bank any savings they give us so as to be able to pay it back to them in a couple of years.