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Environmental Indicators

Management Approach We constantly look for ways to improve and grow our company while reducing our impact on the environment.
G 3.1
INDICATOR
G4
INDICATOR
TOPIC RESPONSE
Materials
EN1 G4-EN1 Weight or volume of materials Most high volume materials are purchased by length, reel, pole, transformer, case, truckload or other measure with no consistent relationship to weight or volume. See G4-EN3 for fuel quantities.
EN2 G4-EN2 Materials used that are recycled content It is not possible to precisely determine how much of the material we use to provide electric and natural gas service comes from recycled sources. A portion of steel, aluminum, other metals and plastics may come from recycled sources, and we actively pursue recycling of these materials when their useful life has been reached. Nearly all fuel used is virgin material, because sufficient volumes of recycled fuels are not available.
Energy
EN3 G4-EN3 Energy Consumption

Most of the energy we use is from fuels. See the Fuels Consumed for U.S. Electric Generation table.

Another significant energy use is electricity for the buildings we occupy. In 2014 Duke Energy consumed approximately 140 gigawatt-hours of electricity in its commercial buildings (excludes Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Florida, where a consistent tracking system is being developed).

EN4 Indirect energy consumption We do not centrally track these data. Indirect energy consumption is very small relative to direct energy consumption from fuels to generate electricity.  
EN5 G4-EN4 Energy consumption outside of Duke Energy

We track the amount of energy we supply to customers, and have many initiatives to help them save energy.

In our Our Sustainability Plan And Goals we have a goal to achieve a cumulative reduction in customer energy consumption of 15,000 gigawatt-hours (equivalent to the annual usage of 1.25 million homes), and achieve a cumulative reduction in peak demand of 4,800 megawatts (MW) (equivalent to eight 600-MW power plants) by 2020. Click Show Goals in the Customers section of the Plan for an update.

G4-EN5
G4-EN6
Energy intensity and reduction

2014 fossil fuel consumed is approximately 456 million MWh.

MWh electricity produced, from our 2014 Sustainability Report, was 260,337 thousand MWh.

The calculated Energy Intensity was:

  • 0.58 in 2013
  • 0.57 in 2014

(2013 is the base year for our reporting of this G4 indicator.)

EN6 G4-EN7 Energy Efficiency

In the electric utility industry context, energy efficiency is pertinent to both generation efficiency, which we report in GRI economic indicator EU11, and in use of electricity by customers, which we report in G4-EN4, and here.

Energy efficiency programs vary by state and we provide information for each state on our website.

Water
Commentary on Water Management See Preserving And Protecting Water Resources in our 2014 Sustainability Report.
EN8 G4-EN8 Water withdrawal See Water Withdrawn and Consumed in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.
EN9 G4-EN9 Water sources and habitats affected by withdrawals Water for various aspects of electric generation is drawn from surface and underground sources. Large volume withdrawals are regulated by state or federal permit conditions that are designed to prevent adverse impacts on aquatic species and communities.
EN10 G4-EN10 Water recycled or reused

Our largest, most material use of water is for electric generation cooling. Approximately 98 percent of the water withdrawn is returned to the source after once-through cooling. The returned water is available for other uses.

Our largest recycling of water is through use of closed-loop cooling systems, and we do not record the volume of water recycled through these systems. See Water Withdrawn and Consumed in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

In 2014, water consumption totaled approximately 357 gallons per net MWh electricity produced.

Biodiversity
EN11 G4-EN11 Land in and adjacent to protected areas and areas of high biological diversity value We help protect the biological diversity of lands we own or manage. Specific permits and licenses regulate our operations in some of these areas. See several examples.
EN12 G4-EN12 Impacts on high biodiversity value areas, including transmission line corridors Environmental analyses performed during planning stages of new facilities are used to identify potential areas of high biodiversity value. If such areas are found, permit conditions are designed to prevent or minimize impacts.
EN13 G4-EN13 Habitats protected or restored We manage and protect various habitats surrounding our facilities and along our rights-of-way.
EN14 G4-EN12 Programs to manage biodiversity Duke Energy is a strong partner with environmental organizations. We also provide examples of how we are protecting turtles, and protecting migratory birds in recent sustainability reports.
EN15 G4-EN14 Special species habitats At times, species of special concern to state and/or federal agencies are found on company land. We work closely with agency personnel to protect these species. See EN14.
Emissions, Effluents, and Waste
EN16 G4-EN15
G4-EN18
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions See Emissions from Generation and our response to the Carbon Disclosure Project.
EN17 G4-EN16
G4-EN17
Other relevant indirect GHG emissions We do not track or report our indirect emissions. They are a very small percentage relative to our direct emissions.
EN18 G4-EN19 Initiatives to reduce GHG emissions, and reductions achieved See A Message From Our CEO, Advancing Low-Carbon Technologies, and an update on our carbon emissions reduction goals in our Sustainability Plan And Goals (click Show Goals in the Operations section of the Plan and Goals for an update.
EN19 G4-EN20 Ozone depleting emissions, by weight We do not centrally track these data. Each facility is responsible for its own compliance with recordkeeping requirements.
EN20 G4-EN21 NOx, SO2, & other significant air emissions by type and weight

See the Emissions from Generation and U.S. Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) tables in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

Mercury emissions to air in 2013 were approximately 1,439 pounds, or approximately 0.000006 pounds per net MWh electricity produced (from our TRI reports). The 2014 TRI data will be available later in 2015.

EN21 G4-EN22 Total water discharges Given our combinations of once-through cooling systems, recirculating systems and other water discharges, we do not record a total quantity.
EN22 G4-EN23 Total weight of waste by type and disposal method See the Waste table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.
EN23 G4-EN24 Total number and volume of significant spills See the Reportable Oil Spills table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.
EN24 G4-EN25 Transported hazardous waste

See the Waste table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

In 2014, hazardous waste generation totaled approximately 0.00037 pounds per net MWh electricity produced.

EN25 G4-EN22 Water discharge impacts Discharges are to rivers and lakes by regulatory permits. Those permits and our operating practices are designed to protect the environment and aquatic species.
Products and Services
EN26 G4-EN27 Environmental impact mitigation Electricity and natural gas cannot be recycled in the usual sense. We recycled over 60,000 tons of solid wastes resulting from our operations in 2014. See the Waste table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.
EN27 G4-EN23 Percentage of product that is recycled Electricity and natural gas cannot be recycled in the usual sense. We recycled over 58,000 tons of solid wastes resulting from our operations in 2013. See the Waste table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.
Compliance
EN28 G4-EN29 Incidents and fines for environmental non-compliance See the Environmental Regulatory Citations table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.
Overall
EN30 G4-EN31 Environmental protection expenditures We do not centrally track this broad range of expenditures. However, please see our Sustainability Report for more information on recent and planned expenditures to reduce emissions.