RALEIGH, N.C. -- (April 10, 2002) -- CP&L achieved significant improvement in the reliability of its system of transmission and distribution of electricity during 2001, resulting in fewer power outages and a shorter average duration of customer outages during the year.

This was the fourth consecutive year CP&L has shown improvement in these key reliability criteria. Since 1997, CP&L has reduced the amount of time customers are without power by nearly 60 percent.

In 2001, the average CP&L customer was without power for 94 minutes -- a 27 percent reliability improvement from 2000 figures. The average time spent restoring disrupted service was 60 minutes, compared to 65.2 minutes the previous year. CP&L also reduced the frequency of service interruptions (annual outages experienced per customer) to 1.57 -- a 21 percent improvement.

CP&L attributes the improvements to substantial investments in power quality and reliability, and a renewed employee focus on improving customer relations.

Since 1997, CP&L has invested more than $191 million in distribution technology, improved equipment and preventive maintenance to improve reliability. Examples of those investments include replacement of aging underground cable, pole replacement and repair and tree trimming. New technology to remotely monitor and control substations and new outage-management systems also improved the company's response to and prevention of outages.

In 2001, CP&L also enhanced technology at its Customer Service Center that provides most callers with an estimate of when their outage will be resolved. The system uses existing data about the type of facility, the geographical area, and the availability of service crews to automatically devise an estimate for every outage. Once service personnel arrive on the site, they update the estimate, so that CP&L customers can be kept informed about the status of their outage, from the time it's reported until it's repaired.

"We recognize that any outage is an inconvenience for our customers and we want to reduce them," said Fred Day, executive vice president of CP&L Energy Delivery. "We are proud of our achievements in power quality and reliability, and we are committed to continuing improvements in this vital area."

CP&L is also working to ensure reliability by enhancing the power generation and transmission infrastructure. CP&L now has the capacity to generate more than 11,500 megawatts of electricity in the Carolinas. In 2001, the company added natural gas-fueled electric generation in Richmond County, N.C., and expects to bring additional units on line at the Richmond County site this year. In addition, CP&L has embarked on a large-scale transmission system upgrade, with major projects under way or planned in six areas. CP&L expects to invest more that $200 million on these transmission projects by 2008.

Progress Energy is a Fortune 250 diversified holding company headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., with more than 20,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $8 billion in annual revenues. The company's diverse portfolio includes two major electric utility companies, CP&L and Florida Power, as well as NCNG, Progress Rail, Progress Telecom and Progress Ventures, which manages the company's non-regulated energy operations including fuel extraction, manufacturing and delivery; merchant generation; and energy marketing and trading. These companies serve 2.9 million customers across the Southeast, providing electricity, natural gas, energy services and broadband capacity. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at http://www.progress-energy.com/.