Duke, Progress highlight cost savings of proposed merger  Two energy companies in North Carolina filed applications this week as they seek regulatory approval of their planned merger, according to a recently published report.

Duke Energy Corp and Progress Energy, two utilities that primarily serve the southeast and central regions of the U.S., previously announced they were planning to merge in an effort to cut costs and boost efficiency. The application they filed in North Carolina on Monday was delivered to the North Carolina Utilities Commission and outlined the numerous customer benefits that will occur if the merger is approved.

According to company executives, the merger will result in cost savings of $700 million in both North and South Carolina over the first five years after the merger closes. That figure was determined based on the reduction in fuel costs to be made and the uptick in efficiency that is projected to result from the deal. The savings will flow directly to consumers as their utility costs are forecast to fall should the deal go through.

Moreover, the companies said they will generate savings in the future planning of new power plants. By merging the supply chains, generation operations and corporate administration policies, the companies also expect to achieve additional savings. If the deal is approved, the merger would create the nation's biggest electric utility with more than 7.1 million electric customers spanning six states.
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