News Release
Nov. 18, 1997

DUKE ENERGY EXECUTIVE SAYS DEREGULATION PRESENTS GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

LONDON, Nov. 18, 1997 -- Electric utilities around the world should use deregulation as an opportunity to energize and re-invent themselves, said a Duke Energy executive today to an audience of industry leaders.

James Hackett, group president of Energy Services for Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy, addressed attendees of the "Re-inventing the Utility" conference at London’s Mount Royal Hotel. The conference was sponsored by the Financial Times.

In his speech, "New Life for an Old Industry," Hackett said that, especially in the United States, utilities can now step outside the small geographic world they once operated from and become global energy players --bringing added value to customers and providing results to a company’s bottom line.

"Our industry is getting stronger worldwide. Prior to deregulation, we were fragmented into small regions," said Hackett. "Now we are consolidating, removing those boundaries, and gaining the strength to supply a growing demand for energy of all types all around the world."

Hackett used Duke Energy -- formed by this year’s merger of Duke Power and Houston-based PanEnergy Corp -- as an example of an emerging utility. Both were highly regarded stand-alone companies, but neither had the financial might or skill sets to be a premier player in the global energy market.

"Our merger created the ninth largest publicly traded energy company in the world," he said. "As a combined company, Duke Energy now has in place the critical factors necessary for success."

Hackett said one area in which utilities will be able to re-invent themselves will be through "beyond the meter" activities -- delivering more than just energy commodities to the customer’s meter.

"These services present, perhaps better than any other, the best opportunity to breathe new life into an old industry," he said.

Hackett pointed to one Duke Energy strategy in which the utility enters into an energy services agreement with a customer to manage energy usage more efficiently and to provide physical commodities and price management services. Duke may buy generation and other energy-related equipment (such as chillers, boilers and air systems) from the customer and upgrade or modernize the equipment and supply the customer’s energy needs less expensively. In doing so, the customer has additional capital to invest in its core business.

"Asset monetization, like our other beyond-the-meter services, frees up capital for our customers to use in product and process improvements, which is really where they want to spend their capital, not on energy per se," he said.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) is a global energy company with more than $20 billion in assets. Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately 2 million customers; operate pipelines that deliver 12 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Globally the companies develop, own and operate energy facilities and provide engineering, management, operating and environmental services. Contact Duke Energy on the World Wide Web at http://www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Randy Wheeless
Phone: 704-382-8379
24 Hour Phone: 704-594-0681
Email: crwheele@duke-energy.com