CEO says Duke Energy focused on long-term

RP news wires
Tags: energy management

Duke Energy will focus on long-term strategies and technological innovation to build sustainable value for investors, employees and customers, chairman, president and chief executive officer Jim Rogers told the company's shareholders on May 6.

"Decisions we make today will impact our company for decades to come. The power plants we build today will operate for 30, 40, 50 years or more," Rogers told about 200 shareholders at Duke Energy's annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C.

The company will spend $15 billion over the next three years to modernize its fleet of power plants and upgrade its transmission system.

Pointing out that the electric utilities of the early 1900s were considered the "high tech" companies of their day, Rogers said Duke Energy is poised to become a high-tech leader in the 21st century.

"By moving forward to modernize our system, we cannot even envision all of the technologies and innovations that our company and our industry will enable in society during the next 100 years," Rogers said.

Duke Energy's long-term initiatives will benefit both the economy and the environment by creating new jobs and reducing the company's environmental footprint, he said. "Our industry is in a unique position, at a critical point in our nation's history, to truly make a difference."

Rogers cited several long-term focal points for the company. Among them:

  • Formulation of clear federal policies on carbon and other energy issues to provide Duke Energy and other utilities the "rules of the road" necessary for power plant modernization.
  • Energy efficiency programs that will help customers save electricity and money, while allowing the company to earn a return on those programs in lieu of building additional power generation. "Our goal is to make the communities we serve the most energy efficient in the world," Rogers said.
  • Replacement of oil with electricity as the transportation fuel of the future, powering a new generation of plug-in electric cars and trucks.

In addition to hearing Rogers' remarks, shareholders re-elected 11 members of Duke Energy's board of directors to one-year terms. The company has a declassified board, meaning that shareholders vote on all directors at each annual meeting. Shareholders also approved a new long-term incentive plan, ratified the selection of Deloitte & Touche as the company's independent public accountant for 2010, and rejected three shareholder proposals. 

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