Williams v. Duke Energy

Class Benefit Fund

The proposed settlement of Williams, et al. v. Duke Energy International, et al. includes the creation of a Class Benefit Fund (the “Fund”), initially set at $8 million, to be administered by a Class Benefit Fund Board of Trustees (the “Board”). The purpose of the Fund is to support energy efficiency programs and projects that will assist both residential and non-residential class members throughout the Duke Energy Ohio 10-county service area in Southwest Ohio. More detail regarding the Fund and its Board may be found in the Stipulation (click here) and Exh. 1 to the Stipulation, which sets out proposed Fund Restrictions and Guidelines (click here).

On November 23, 2015, the Court approved and appointed a five-member Class Benefit Fund Board of Trustees. A copy of the Order may be found here. The intent of appointing the Board now and allowing them to begin working preliminarily is twofold: 1) it allows the Board to present ideas prior to the fairness hearing scheduled for April 18, 2016, and allows the Class to evaluate and provide input into the activities of the Board; and 2) it will allow, if the settlement obtains final approval, distribution of the Class Benefit Fund without undue delay.

To find out more about the past and current activity of the Board, click here. Please check back periodically. If you are a Class Member, we want to ensure that you have the opportunity to provide input on preliminary ideas for use of the Fund to benefit Class Members.

Here is the approved Class Benefit Fund Board:

  • Brewster Rhoads

    Brewster Rhoads

    Mr. Rhoads served as the Executive Direct of Green Umbrella, the sustainability alliance for Greater Cincinnati, before his retirement in July 1 2015, and has been an environmental advocate for over 45 years. To see a copy of his c.v., click here.

  • Mark Shanahan

    Mark Shanahan

    Mr. Shanahan currently provides policy, financing and technical advice to clean energy projects through New Morning Energy LLC. He served as Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s Energy Advisor from 2007-2011 and as executive director of the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority from 1989-2011. To see a copy of his c.v., click here.

  • Kathryn Merchant

    Kathryn Merchant

    Kathy Merchant is president/CEO emeritus of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. She is Senior Fellow for the StriveTogether cradle-to-career network, Senior Advisor for CFLeads executive leadership institutes, and philanthropy consultant to foundations. Merchant serves on the national board of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. To see a copy of her c.v., click here.

  • Deborah Brooks

    Deborah Brooks

    Ms. Brooks is the Executive Vice President of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, and has spent the last 30 years of her career in the social service field advocating for and supporting those in need of assistance. To see a copy of her c.v., click here.

  • Kevin Bright

    Kevin Bright

    Mr. Bright is Duke’s Managing Director for Customer Efficiency Programs. To see a copy of his c.v., click here.