News Release
March 13, 2003

DUKE POWER GARNERS TWO FIRST PLACE HONORS IN ANNUAL INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power has received first place honors in Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2002 Industry Excellence Awards for the company developing, building and implementing a new customer billing and information system and for the development and use of reel-less cable packaging.

 

“We are pleased to be recognized by Southeastern Electric Exchange for these achievements,” said Ruth Shaw, president of Duke Power. “We value our involvement with the organization, which is committed to continuous improvements in our industry. Southeastern Electric Exchange plays a key role in fostering partnerships and in sharing resources in times of crisis, such as the ice storms that affected many of our customers this winter.”

 

New Customer and Billing Information System

When faced with the need to replace its customer information system, Duke Power considered several shelf products before deciding to build its own system.

 

“Designing, building and implementing our own customer and billing information system required a Herculean effort by our entire team,” said Tony Almeida, vice president of Duke Power customer services. “By building our own customized system, we are now able to offer customers an array of new services, such as detailed billing statements, Internet access for service requests and account

information, electronic billing and payment, new billing options such as our Fixed Payment Plan and real-time status updates for service requests,” Almeida said.  

 

Reel-less Cable Packaging

Before the development of the reel-less packaging system, the cable Duke Power uses for distributing electricity was shipped and stored on wooden reels. These reels were costly to ship, cumbersome to store and handle because of their weight and size, and they created unnecessary waste. The new packaging system – developed jointly by Duke Power, Southwire Company and Pike Electrical Contractors – makes it possible to ship the cable in coils and then place the coils on reusable tubular stems, eliminating the need for the large wooden reels.

 

“Our customers benefit when we successfully identify innovative approaches to getting work done more efficiently,” said E.O. Ferrell, senior vice president of Duke Power electric distribution. “By developing a packaging method that reduces waste and lower costs associated with disposal and shipping, we are helping maintain our low electricity rates for our customers, which are at 1986 levels.”

 

Founded in 1933, Southeastern Electric Exchange is a non-profit organization of investor-owned utility companies. Each year for the past 10 years, the organization has recognized the most outstanding products/projects developed or implemented by its member utilities. A first and second place award is presented in each of the following categories: accounting and finance, customer service and billing, distribution, environmental, internal audit, production, rates and regulation, substations, supply chain and transmission.

 

Duke Power has received a total of nine awards from Southeastern Electric Exchange since 1992. Company representatives will accept this year’s awards in June at the organization’s annual conference, trade show and board of directors’ meeting.

 

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Power operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 17,800 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: www.dukepower.com.

 

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 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: Paige Layne
Phone: 704/594-0369
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: pclayne@duke-energy.com