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NC advocate wants Duke-Progress merger savings

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina's chief consumer advocate for utilities says state regulators will insist on ratepayers getting some of the savings from the merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy.

The two North Carolina-based companies said Monday they will combine to form a utility that would have the most customers in the country.

The head of the North Carolina Utilities Commission's Public Staff says he wants to see estimates of savings from Duke and Progress' combined operations over the next five years. Robert Gruber also says he expects regulators will demand a share of that savings for consumers.

Gruber says its unlikely the Duke-Progress merger will create anything like the $117 million consumer rebate from Duke Energy's 2006 acquisition of Ohio-based Cinergy Corp.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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