Duke Energy

Duke Energy is one of the largest utility holding companies in the United States, providing electricity to 7.7 million retail customers in six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida.

Duke’s natural gas utility companies also distribute gas in the Carolinas, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee through its regulated utility subsidiaries Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy Ohio.

Coal and gas combined for 61% of total generation for all of Duke Energy’s subsidiaries in 2020.

While Duke Energy has a net zero carbon emissions by 2050 goal, research conducted by the Sierra Club shows that its subsidiaries are not moving fast enough toward clean energy in the time frame needed to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Sierra Club assigned a score to every utility in January 2021 based on its plans to retire coal, construct new gas plants, and build new clean energy. All of the Duke Energy subsidiaries received an ‘F’.

Duke Energy’s climate policy engagement was also assessed in January 2021 by the Climate Action 100+, which is a collection of 570 investors responsible for over $54 trillion in assets under management coordinated by a group of five investor networks. Climate Action 100+ believes that an important component of company commitments on climate change is the formation of comprehensive business strategies that fully align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Climate Action 100+ found that Duke Energy failed to:

  • Have a specific commitment/position statement to conduct all of its lobbying in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • List its climate-related lobbying activities, e.g., meetings, policy submissions, etc.
  • Disclose its trade association memberships.
  • Have a specific commitment to ensure that the trade associations the company is a member of lobby in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Conduct and publish a review of its trade associations’ climate positions/alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Duke released a report in March 2021 that disclosed more information about their advocacy with regard to climate policy. However, Duke’s report is limited to a review of its trade association activities for the groups that received over $50,000 in dues from the utility. The company failed to disclose its direct lobbying activities or, as initially requested, the political activities of its Duke Energy Foundation. Duke’s Trade Associations Climate Review also positioned the company as aligned with the climate policies of the Business Roundtable (BRT), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) – all groups that have lobbied for policies supportive of the fossil fuel industry.

Recent Duke Energy News

EPA building

Utilities, once represented by UARG, now part of the ‘Electric Generators for a Sensible Transition’ in their suit against the EPA

Duke Energy doubles down on gas in updated NC Carbon Plan, despite unreliability during Winter Storm Elliott

Ohio bill would bar utilities from charging customers for politics

Utility front groups spending on disinformation advertising

Utilities sent $2.4 million to anti-abortion state officials who sponsored and signed trigger laws

A picture of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building.

Utilities that support Inflation Reduction Act are members of trade groups attacking it

John Oliver discusses utility scandals with title card reading "Utilities" and images of electric infrastructure

John Oliver explains utility scandals

Alabama Power contributed more than $176k to leaders of Alabama’s anti-LGTBQ+ bills

AEP resumes political contributions paused after U.S. Capitol attack

Duke Energy PAC resumes contributions to lawmakers who voted to overturn election

NextEra, Florida utilities closely aligned with election fraud suspect Frank Artiles

Major investors find electric utilities are not on track to meet decarbonization goals

Duke, Southern disclose misleading descriptions of climate policy advocacy to ESG investors

South Carolina public advocate hires Dominion Energy attorney

Kyger Creek Power Plant

Many U.S. electric utilities plan slow decarbonization over next decade, out of sync with Biden plan

Jonathan Scott solar film Power Trip poster

Jonathan Scott talks to EPI about taking on utilities in solar film “Power Trip”

Duke Energy spends big on Republicans, “soft money” groups in 2020 election

Utility CEOs contribute personal money to help Republicans; Utility PACs also favor GOP

1.25 million Floridians face electric disconnection by utilities

Lawrence McClure

Utility Front Group Sparks Attack on Florida Rooftop Solar Amid Ongoing COVID Crisis

Bill Seitz’s FirstEnergy bailout bill is one target of a subpoena

Who is behind anti-regional transmission organization ads in the Southeast?

Florida PSC Don Polmann

Candidates Vie for Influential Florida Public Service Commission Seat

Utility Corruption

FirstEnergy scandal is latest example of utility corruption, deceit

North Carolina utilities not reconnecting customers during COVID-19 pandemic

Duke Energy Climate Report charts fossil fuel-laden path to net-zero, lagging behind peers

A PG&E smart meter. Utilities are unevenly applying late fees and reconnecting customers who had been disconnected before pandemic crisis

Caught in patchwork of policies and pledges, some utility customers may still be awaiting electricity restoration or racking up fees

A picture of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building.

Energy companies in U.S. Chamber silent as Chamber opposed use of Defense Production Act to produce medical supplies for COVID-19

Utility decarbonization trajectories

Morgan Stanley: Duke, other utilities ignoring profit opportunity by failing to decarbonize rapidly

Duke Energy refuses to consider climate-related risk in North Carolina rate case

Report details utilities’ use of charitable giving to influence politics

Southern Company and American Electric Power pledge to reduce emissions, but still support coal lobby group

Duke Energy's Sutton Gas Plant

Duke Energy’s zero-carbon goal undermined by massive gas rush

Duke Energy's gas investments lead it to muddled statements on the emissions impacts of solar energy.

Duke Energy’s Allegiance to Gas Leads to Muddled Statements on Solar Emissions Impacts

Harry Brown: North Carolina’s anti-wind lawmaker is backed by Koch money

FCC filings detail additional link between MidAmerican and anti-solar REAL Coalition

PURPA Attack EEI Duke

Dukeplicity on PURPA

Floridians for Affordable Reliable Energy Joe Gibbons

New Front Group, Floridians for Affordable Reliable Energy, Emerges to Fight for Monopoly Utilities

Utility Corruption

Utilities Made A Final Push To Aid Republican and Democratic Governors Associations Leading Up To The Election

2018 Political Map of the U.S. Governor Races

Analysis: How Electric Utilities and Their Executives Contributed in Nine Governor Races

Bill Wehrum: A top Trump official at EPA delivers for former utility industry clients

What Andrew Gillum vs Ron DeSantis Means for Clean Energy

Campaign Finance Reports Reveal Utility Industry Again Spending Big This Election Cycle

The Harvard Electric Policy Group paid for utility regulators from the Arizona Corporation Commission to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay in March, 2015.

Utility-funded Harvard group has given tens of thousands of dollars in airfare, luxury hotels and meals to Arizona utility commissioners

Indiana lawmaker with history of receiving gifts from utilities, sponsoring utility-friendly legislation, now to join commission that regulates them

How Will Utilities Vote On The Latest Climate Denial Model Resolution At ALEC?

Electric utilities working with oil and gas companies on ‘advocacy’ efforts to counter environmentalists

Candidate for Florida Governorship Pledges To Stop Accepting Utility Contributions

Decades before Harvey and Irma, electric utilities knew climate change could fuel more powerful storms and still funded denial

After Irma will the Southeast copy post-Sandy rebuild plans?

Utility Companies Quick To Fund Republican Governors and Attorneys General in 2017

Utility Industry Set To Get Another Ally Inside The Trump Administration

Utility CEOs try to rob shareholders of rights to express climate concerns

A sign protesting Dominion's Atlantic Coast Pipeline from a Virginia grassroots group.

Front group paid by Dominion releases shady poll showing support for Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Chairman of Ohio House Public Utilities Committee owned Duke Energy and Spectra Energy stocks

Duke Energy says it supports solar, despite backing Amendment 1. We fact-check.

What’s next for solar in Florida after the Amendment 1 results?

Press Release: Florida Utilities Pour $3.5 Million More Into Anti-Solar Amendment 1

First Episode of ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ Focuses on Solar Energy and Amendment 1 in Florida

Florida utilities silent amidst controversy over anti-solar Amendment 1

Funding to Consumers for Smart Solar for Amendment 1 as of Oct. 14, 2016

“Consumers for Smart Solar” behind Florida’s Amendment 1 collected only $10 from actual consumers

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Opponents Led By Just A Few Power Companies

The Kemper "clean coal" power plant.

Southern Company’s Kemper Power Plant: Latest Utility Boondoggle at the Expense of Customers

Indiana Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Secrecy

Hedge fund Acme Equities ("Enchant Energy") is attempting to install CCS on the San Juan Generating Station.

Global Investors Warn Utilities to Change Business Strategy and Prepare for Climate Change

Yes on 1 for the Sun: The Anti-Solar Ballot Initiative from Utilities and Fossil Fuel Interests

Utility Funded Consumers for Smart Solar Ballot Approved by Florida Supreme Court

Special Interests Behind Anti-Solar Ballot Initiative Consumers for Smart Solar

Clean Power Plan Published – Here Is The Utility Industry’s Strategy To Overturn It

Ohio Energy Mandates Study Committee Relies on Fossil Fuel Interests to Attack Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS)

Revealed: Public Records Between Senator Seitz and Utility Companies

The repeated effort by Ohio ALEC members to end the state’s clean energy law

Attacks on Clean Power Plan Based on Flawed Reports

Corporations Behind The Lawsuit Against The EPA

The Secret Network of Fossil Fuel & Utility Backed Groups Working to Stop Clean Energy

Are Utility Companies Changing Their Strategy To Fight Obama Power Plan?

North Carolina Renewable Energy Standard Attacked Again

Floridians for Solar Choice Launches Ballot Initiative: Americans for Prosperity Stays Silent on the Issue

EEI President Says Energy Efficiency Is A Priority. Why Are His Members Then Working to Weaken State Efficiency Programs?

Florida Regulators Weaken Energy Efficiency Goals for Utilities

ALEC’s Anti-Renewable Energy Agenda – July 2014

Posted by Energy and Policy Institute