Engaged in the political arena

Duke Energy actively participates in the political process to ensure that local, state and federal lawmakers understand and consider the interests of the company and its customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.

Duke Energy provides technical and financial expertise on proposed legislation to help lawmakers make informed decisions. In 2012, the company spent $10.2 million on reportable lobbying expenses (such as office space, salaries, consulting fees, event fees, etc.) at the federal and state levels to promote sound and responsible public policies. That amount includes $1.2 million in trade association dues used for policy research, information gathering and federal lobbying.

In 2012, Duke Energy also contributed $557,000 to political organizations such as the Republican and Democratic governors associations that advocate for issues and mobilize voters, but do not directly support or oppose candidates.

The company is legally prohibited from making direct contributions to candidates for U.S. federal political offices. It is similarly prohibited from making direct contributions to candidates for state offices in certain states. In 2012, in states where corporate contributions are allowed, Duke Energy gave $1.2 million to support candidates, political parties and other political organizations and activities.

Duke Energy’s Political Activity Policy ensures company compliance with laws and regulations governing political contributions, government contacts and lobbying activities.

Employee Participation

Many Duke Energy employees participate in the political process through DUKEPAC and Voices In Politics.

DUKEPAC is a voluntary, nonpartisan political action committee that contributes to federal and state candidates. The committee pools employee contributions to support political candidates who, if elected, might be involved in legislation that could impact Duke Energy employees, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. Such legislation could involve utility industry structure; nuclear, coal, natural gas, hydro, wind or solar electricity generation; energy efficiency; environmental issues; tax reform; or employee benefits (health insurance, for example). DUKEPAC and the former Progress Energy PACs contributed $1.04 million to state and federal candidates and political organizations in 2012.

Voices In Politics is Duke Energy’s grassroots education and advocacy network. It briefs employees on political issues and encourages them to actively support or oppose legislation that could impact the company. The network issues occasional “calls to action” regarding pending legislative votes that could affect the company’s operations.