Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) will hand over $81 million to settle a class-action suit over allegations of improper rebates.
The utility denies giving the rebates to some large electric customers of its Ohio subsidiary but said it was settling to avoid the costs and uncertainties of litigation.
In Anthony Williams et al. v. Duke Energy Corp. et al., the plaintiffs said contracts between Duke Energy Retail Sales and certain Duke Energy Ohio industrial and business customers violated state and federal anti-trust laws, providing financial benefits to those customers that others did not receive.
The settlement is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Per the agreement, the $81 million would be allowed as such:
- Up to $25 million to Duke Energy Ohio residential customers who were customers at any time between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2008;
- up to $25 million to Duke Energy Ohio non-residential customers who were customers at any time between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2008;
- $8 million to fund energy-related programs benefitting Duke Energy Ohio customers who were customers at any time between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2008; and
- remaining funds pay plaintiffs’ legal fees, settlement fund distribution costs and other expenses.