Duke Energy says merger will save customers money

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Duke Energy is reacting to its settlement that's received negative feedback from several watchdog energy groups.

So far, the company's stock is trending up slightly.

Spokesman Tom Williams said he's not surprised by the jump in the stock price. He said this brings closure to the company and helps shareholders and customers.

The agreement puts an end to an investigation launched in July, when Duke and Progress Energy merged, and the board immediately voted to replace CEO Bill Johnson with Duke CEO Jim Rogers.

Rogers will now retire at the end of next year.

The agreement also adds $25 million to the $650 million in savings already promised to customers, spread over five years.

But some groups say that additional money is really just a drop in the bucket.

Williams said in response that the merger is already expected to save customers $72 million by next June, and this agreement only helps the process.