TCC - Coffee Chat Summary with Duke Energy

The Triangle Community Coalition had another successful Coffee Chat
with Duke Energy Management Team on March 9, 2016

Joining our members in an informal chat were LaQuisha Parks, Marty Clayton, Franky Batten, Tracey Woolsey, Auletha Sessoms, Rick Canavan and Pete Wehr.
We provided the Duke Energy team with a better perspective of the Triangle Community Coalition's goal to be a proactive partner in growth and land use issues and to work with senior staff and elected officials to develop policies, regulations, and procedures to encourage economic development, produce predictable (yet flexible) outcomes for all stakeholders, and protect the community's interests.  This is our second chat with Duke Energy.

Duke Energy Management Team appreciated the TCC’s ability to offer objective facts and information in efforts to improve public policy debates and create effective working relationships between the business community and local government.  We had some great interaction with the TCC membership in attendance and had opportunity to talk about the following:

·         Marty Clayton open the discussion re: Joint Trenching

o    Duke Energy has made some progress
o    Working with PSNCto use joint trenching for power work
o    Has joint trench agreements with Google, AT&T, and Time Warner
o    Gas Companies need to be qualified to do gas & power and are the same depth of 3 ft. with 12” separation, as of right now there are only two companies in the area with this qualification
o    To be a joint trenching community, developers need to request as soon as they have design plans, although there is a “too early” time period

·         Regarding Design (site primary, lighting and transformer layouts)

o    Town of Cary is asking for design of layout for transformers so not to overlap landscaping
o    Duke Energy is working with Town of Cary to address and asked that TCC help
o    With multi-family development there are questions on where to put the transformers, particularly in the downtown areas (Raleigh, Durham) where open space is a commodity
o    Underground vault or in building is very expensive, but Duke is working to expand zones within the downtown that allows for vaulted transformers
o    DE noted a 6-8 week turnaround for Duke Energy to work with design plan for transformers
o    Duke Energy has to look at new type of development to see what fits in urban areas, and potentially update their guidelines accordingly
o    Duke Energy requested a follow up meeting to discuss urban design

·         LaQuisha Parks discussed the customer service for developers

o    Builders Express is available for developers and builders
o    Craig Duerr gave a review on an experience with the hotline
o    Mary Clayton will follow up to see what exactly was the issue
o    Duke Energy will provide a contact sheet from customer service for the TCC, this will have various DE contacts useful for not just builders, but also the developer/engineering community

·         Tracy Woolsey spoke on the schedule aspect and predictability

o    Currently developer submits to Duke Energy then to municipality
o    Request a service day.  DE assigns work based on this date
o    Mapping resource use to assign work by priority
o    My Woolsey acknowledged a staggering late/delayed service statistic.  He cited three main areas of concern to address the delayed schedule;           
Weather – it’s been a VERY wet winter
            §  Contractor Not Ready -- site wasn’t ready and resource are behind because of smaller staff
            §  Googleand other Utility Providers knocking out services which takes a precedent over new service install
o    Jeremy Medlin noted because of weather delays it took 2 1/2 months longer to get power ready on a residential development.   The weather and utility service calls for disruptions from utility boring were cited as the main reasons. 

Other Issues Discussed:

·         Project Managers meeting with Google due to repairs cause by Google Fiber, looking to train and reduce the number of service calls received.

·         It was noted by both the TCC and DE themselves, that Duke Energy needs to prioritize between new business vs current customers

·         Duke Energy asked the TCC to reach out to development community re: site readiness and communications with Pete Wehr at DE. Open communication will allow DE to prioritize scheduling and be better about getting service installed on sites that area ready when the call is made.

·         Paul Kane with HBA thanked Duke Energy for their professionalism and will use HBA to get the word out

·         TCC to set up a coffee chat with Duke Energy, AT&T, Time Warner and Google Fiber

If you are interested in participating in future meetings with Duke Energy or future Coffee Chats, watch for notices or contact the TCC offices at 919 812-7785 or Charlene Logan at to reserve your spot! 

These programs are a great way for you, as an exclusive benefit as a TCC member, to become active and help the TCC strengthen our relationships with local jurisdictions throughout the Triangle.