News Release
April 12, 1999

DUKE ENERGY CONDUCTS YEAR 2000 DRILL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy’s first major simulation of technology problems associated with the Year 2000 demonstrated that Duke Power employees could obtain critical operating data the old-fashioned way – manually – and use hand-held radios to maintain communications essential to reliable customer service. Drills on April 9 focused on the loss of communications, which is a critical system that supports the company’s operation. The drills involved 350 Duke Energy employees from several corporate areas and its gas pipeline and electric utility operations, including 250 Duke Power employees.

"We do not anticipate Year 2000-related disruptions in the services we provide our customers come Jan. 1," said Richard J. Osborne, Duke Energy chief financial officer and corporate sponsor of the company’s Year 2000 readiness program. "The purpose of the drills was to identify areas where we can strengthen our plans and our response to Year 2000."

According to Sally Whitney, Duke Energy’s Year 2000 program director, "Our objectives for the April 9 drills were to examine our existing procedures and to exercise backup communications.

We also wanted to evaluate our ability to deploy personnel to key facilities and to manually gather data. While a detailed assessment of the day’s activities will follow over the next few weeks, we believe our employees did a good job of meeting these objectives."

Initial Results

"Drills are extremely valuable as they help evaluate processes," Whitney said. "Already, as part of existing contingency plans, we have a good foundation in place to respond to and manage unusual events. We will continue to build on that foundation for our Year 2000 preparations."

The April 9 drills were part of an industrywide effort coordinated by the North American Electric Reliability Council, a Washington, D.C.-based, non-profit group whose responsibilities include monitoring Year 2000 readiness of North America’s electric utilities.

Duke Energy’s Year 2000 Readiness Program began in 1996. As many as 200 Duke Energy employees and contractors have been dedicated full-time to addressing the issue. Approximately $65 million has been committed to cover the program’s cost. The company has completed a large part of the effort and is now concentrating on the final phase, which includes additional testing and contingency planning. The company anticipates that its electric utility and gas pipeline operations will be Year 2000 ready by June 1999. Most other Duke Energy businesses will also be Year 2000 ready by June, with the exception of some businesses that are integrating recent acquisitions. These businesses will be Year 2000 ready later in 1999.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is a global energy company with more than $26 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina; operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

For more information about Duke Energy’s Year 2000 Readiness Program, please visit the company’s Internet Web site at http://www.duke-energy.com/year2000.

Contact: Joe Maher
Phone: (704) 382-8323
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: jmaher@duke-energy.com