This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and can often be identified by terms and phrases that include “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “expect,” “continue,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “will,” “potential,” “forecast,” “target,” “guidance,” “outlook” or other similar terminology. Various factors may cause actual results to be materially different than the suggested outcomes within forward-looking statements; accordingly, there is no assurance that such results will be realized. These factors include, but are not limited to: state, federal and foreign legislative and regulatory initiatives, including costs of compliance with existing and future environmental requirements or climate change, as well as rulings that affect cost and investment recovery or have an impact on rate structures or market prices; the extent and timing of costs and liabilities to comply with federal and state laws, regulations and legal requirements related to coal ash remediation, including amounts for required closure of certain ash impoundments, are uncertain and difficult to estimate; the ability to recover eligible costs, including amounts associated with coal ash impoundment retirement obligations and costs related to significant weather events, and to earn an adequate return on investment through the regulatory process; the costs of decommissioning Crystal River Unit 3 and other nuclear facilities could prove to be more extensive than amounts estimated and all costs may not be fully recoverable through the regulatory process; credit ratings of the company or its subsidiaries may be different from what is expected; costs and effects of legal and administrative proceedings, settlements, investigations and claims; industrial, commercial and residential growth or decline in service territories or customer bases resulting from variations in customer usage patterns, including energy efficiency efforts and use of alternative energy sources, including self-generation and distributed generation technologies; federal and state regulations, laws and other efforts designed to promote and expand the use of energy efficiency measures and distributed generation technologies, such as rooftop solar and battery storage, in our service territories could result in customers leaving the electric distribution system, excess generation resources as well as stranded costs; advancements in technology; additional competition in electric and gas markets and continued industry consolidation; the influence of weather and other natural phenomena on operations, including the economic, operational and other effects of severe storms, hurricanes, droughts, earthquakes and tornadoes, including extreme weather associated with climate change; the ability to successfully operate electric generating facilities and deliver electricity to customers including direct or indirect effects to the company resulting from an incident that affects the U.S. electric grid or generating resources; the ability to complete necessary or desirable pipeline expansion or infrastructure projects in our natural gas business; operational interruptions to our gas distribution and transmission activities; the availability of adequate interstate pipeline transportation capacity and natural gas supply; the impact on facilities and business from a terrorist attack, cybersecurity threats, data security breaches, and other catastrophic events such as fires, explosions, pandemic health events or other similar occurrences; the inherent risks associated with the operation and potential construction of nuclear facilities, including environmental, health, safety, regulatory and financial risks; the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates and the ability to recover such costs through the regulatory process, where appropriate, and their impact on liquidity positions and the value of underlying assets; the results of financing efforts, including the ability to obtain financing on favorable terms, which can be affected by various factors, including credit ratings, interest rate fluctuations and general economic conditions; the credit ratings may be different from what the company and its subsidiaries expect; declines in the market prices of equity and fixed income securities and resultant cash funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans, other post-retirement benefit plans, and nuclear decommissioning trust funds; construction and development risks associated with the completion of Duke Energy and its subsidiaries’ capital investment projects, including risks related to financing, obtaining and complying with terms of permits, meeting construction budgets and schedules, and satisfying operating and environmental performance standards, as well as the ability to recover costs from customers in a timely manner or at all; changes in rules for regional transmission organizations, including changes in rate designs and new and evolving capacity markets, and risks related to obligations created by the default of other participants; the ability to control operation and maintenance costs; the level of creditworthiness of counterparties to transactions; employee workforce factors, including the potential inability to attract and retain key personnel; the ability of subsidiaries to pay dividends or distributions to Duke Energy Corporation holding company (the Parent); the performance of projects undertaken by our nonregulated businesses and the success of efforts to invest in and develop new opportunities; the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by accounting standard-setting bodies; substantial revision to the U.S. tax code, such as changes to the corporate tax rate or a material change in the deductibility of interest; the impact of potential goodwill impairments; the ability to successfully complete future merger, acquisition or divestiture plans; and the ability to successfully integrate the natural gas businesses following the acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. and realize anticipated benefits.
Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in Duke Energy’s and its subsidiaries’ reports filed with the SEC and available at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the events described in the forward-looking statements might not occur or might occur to a different extent or at a different time than described. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made; Duke Energy expressly disclaims an obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.