News Release
Feb. 14, 2000

DUKE ENERGY ANNOUNCES SALE OF RUTHERFORD WATER COMPANY

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy announced today that it will sell its Rutherford Water Company to the Spindale-Rutherfordton Water Authority.

"We are pleased to announce the Spindale-Rutherfordton Water Authority as the successful bidder for ownership of Duke Energy’s Rutherford Water System," said Robert S. Lilien, senior vice president, Diversified Businesses. "Our goal was to find a bidder that displayed a long-term commitment to the region and quality water operations. We believe that the Spindale-Rutherfordton Water Authority is the best candidate to meet these objectives."

To ensure fairness to all interested and qualified buyers, a structured bidding process was announced last October and was managed by A. G. Edwards & Sons. Bids were carefully evaluated based on long-term interest in the region and in water operations, as well as price and other terms and conditions of the contract including proposals for continued reliable operations.

Lilien said that the decision to sell the water operations was based on a review of the overall strategic direction of the corporation and a decision that water operations would not be an area that the corporation would continue.

"Our goal was to identify ownership that would focus on water operations as a core business," continued Lilien. "We are pleased with the results of this process and will work closely with the Spindale-Rutherfordton Water Authority to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership."

Duke Energy, a premier global energy services company, serves customers and creates shareholder value through an integrated network of energy assets and energy experts. As market leaders in their respective fields, Duke Energy businesses manage a multi-national portfolio of energy supply, delivery and trading assets valued at approximately $30 billion. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Guynn Savage
Phone: 704/382-8350
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: ghsavage@duke-energy.com