Lynn J. Good
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Duke Energy
Jack, thank you, and good morning, everyone. It's great to be with you for our third quarter 2021 earnings call. Today, we announced strong results for the quarter with adjusted earnings per share of $1.88 driven by growth at our electric utilities. We're well positioned for a solid finish to the year and are narrowing our full year guidance range to $5.15 to $5.30, raising the midpoint into the upper half of our original range. We're also reaffirming our long-term EPS growth rate of 5% to 7% through 2025 based off our original 2021 guidance range. Before I hand it over to Steve for a financial update, I'd like to discuss the important progress we've made on our climate goals and highlight recent and critical accomplishments that help advance our clean energy transformation. Turning to slide five. We've been actively engaged with policymakers and stakeholders across the Carolinas for several years to chart a path toward cleaner energy. Our 2020 IRPs filed in both states reflect our goal to pursue an orderly energy transition, achieving aggressive carbon reduction while maintaining affordability and reliability. These filings and ongoing conversations in both states have been informed by robust stakeholder engagement and feedback. In October, North Carolina took an additional step, consistent with their long-standing history of proactively tackling complex energy issues when state leaders came together to pass a landmark bipartisan law, House Bill 951, that accelerates the clean energy transition. House Bill 951 provides a framework to achieve 70% carbon reduction by '23 while continuing to prioritize affordability and reliability for customers. It also sets into law our corporate goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The road map to achieve these goals will come in the form of a carbon reduction plan, which will be approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission by the end of 2022. We anticipate the active involvement of South Carolina in this process, as they have been over the decades in developing and retiring assets that serve both states. The plan will also be informed by stakeholders, a continuation of the conversations that have been ongoing over the last several years. Consistent with the vertically integrated utility model, House Bill 951 calls for utilities to own new generation or other resources selected by the commission, with the exception of solar generation, which contemplates 55% utility ownership and the remaining procured through PPAs.
Throughout our history, we have offered great protections for low-income customers, and House Bill 951 takes further steps to prioritize affordability. The legislation calls for securitization of 50% of subcritical coal plants upon their early retirement, which will lower customer rates. Additionally, we've initiated a low-income collaborative to propose new low-income programs to further help our customers. The legislation also adopts modern regulatory mechanisms in North Carolina, including multiyear rate plans, performance-based ratemaking and residential decoupling, all designed to better align utility investments with customer needs and improve rate certainty. As we look ahead, our pace of change will accelerate as we work toward our carbon reduction goals and the broader clean energy transformation across all of our jurisdictions. With this in mind, we expect our enterprise capital plan for the next five years, through 2026, to increase to the $60 billion and $65 billion range. And then moving into the back half of the decade, we estimate to be in the top half of our $65 billion to $75 billion range. And we will provide more details on our updated capital and financing plans on our fourth quarter call in February. Turning to slide 6. It's been one year since we hosted our first ESG Investor Day where we laid out several targets in our path to net-zero carbon and methane emissions. We're making meaningful progress across these goals while also advancing social responsibility and corporate governance work. We exceeded 40% carbon reduction across the enterprise in 2020, and we continue to accelerate coal retirements and add significant amounts of renewables to our system. Our path to net-zero is underpinned by strong governance, collaboration with stakeholders and a culture rooted in diversity, equity and inclusion. Our long-term investment strategy also provides societal benefits, as demonstrated by our commitment to environmental justice. Earlier this week, we launched a new sustainable financing framework to help fund investments in eligible green and social projects. This framework provides additional transparency around our investments and clearly defines projects aligned with our ESG priorities. And as a testament to our strong culture of governance and accountability, we were recognized by Labrador's 2021 Transparency Awards as the number one utility for overall transparency.
While there is more to do, we're proud of our progress and are poised for more in the years ahead. We look forward to holding another ESG Day with you in 2022 to dive deeper into our commitments and our accomplishments. Turning to slide seven. We continue to work with stakeholders at federal, state and local levels to make this clean energy vision possible while maintaining reliability and affordability for customers. In South Carolina, we filed a modified IRP at the end of August, incorporating feedback from the Public Service Commission and demonstrating further progress toward cleaner energy. The plan includes a balanced resource mix, expanding renewable generation, storage, retiring coal and achieving significant carbon reductions. We expect an order from the commission later this year and believe this filing is an important foundational element to the continued conversation on the pace and approach to the clean energy transition in the Carolinas. Strategic progress continues in Florida as well. We announced four new solar projects in the third quarter as part of our Clean Energy Connection program, and we continue to harden the grid through our Storm Protection Plan rider. As we prepare to submit our Indiana IRP later this month, we've gathered input from business customers, consumer advocates and environmental groups on transitioning to cleaner generation while keeping a sharp focus on reliability and affordability. The IRP will continue to advance efforts to shift away from coal, and we remain engaged with stakeholders and policymakers to find the best path forward for the state. Finally, we're engaging with Congress and the administration on a wide range of issues, including infrastructure, tax and climate policy. We support new federal policies that align with our clean energy transition by modernizing and investing in the nation's infrastructure and helping to fund the development of advanced clean energy technologies. From a regulatory point of view, we are pleased that FERC has accepted the application filed by Duke and the other members of the Southeast Energy Exchange Market, known as SEEM. This allows the members to proceed with the development of the trading platform.
SEEM is a low-cost, low-risk way to provide immediate customer benefits through a shared market structure while advancing more renewables throughout the Southeast. In closing, the fundamentals of our business are strong, and we're meeting our financial and strategic objectives while continuing to focus on operational excellence. We operate in constructive jurisdictions that continue to drive new customers at growth rates above national averages. Our climate goals are driving our investment strategy and long-term planning, and we continue to make progress on all fronts. We have a clear line of sight to achieving our 2030 goals. Over this decade, we will deploy one of the largest capital investment plans in the country focused on building clean energy infrastructure, investments that will benefit the environment, our customers and communities and our investors. With this positive momentum, we are highly confident in our 5% to 7% EPS growth range and see the potential over time to earn in the top half of this range. With that, let me turn it over to Steve.