Duke Energy is providing tools and tips to help customers in North Carolina and South Carolina save energy and money as the region's lingering heat wave continues.
"Extreme temperatures drive higher energy use since about half the energy consumers use is to heat or cool their homes," said Jim Henning, senior vice president of customer services at Duke Energy "As high temperatures continue throughout the summer, we want our customers to have the information and tools they need to help manage their energy costs."
The Duke Energy system is performing well and the team will continue to closely monitor the electric system to ensure its customers receive reliable power during the extended hot weather period.
High temperatures can lead to higher energy bills as Duke Energy customers try to stay cool this summer. The company is offering free tools and low- to no-cost tips to help customers manage energy use.
Track your energy usage
Customers with smart meters can check online to view their daily usage. Smart meters collect usage information by the hour, so checking spikes throughout the month – by day and even hour – can show what appliances and behaviors are increasing their bills.
Duke Energy customers with smart meters also receive usage alerts through email and/or text halfway through their billing cycle, well before their bill arrives, with their current usage amount and a projection of what their final monthly bill could be.
Customers can also set budget alerts so they know when their bill reaches a specific dollar amount of their choosing, allowing them to make adjustments to their usage and help save money on their bill.
Customers without smart meters can sign up to receive high bill alerts for when adverse weather is projected to increase their electric bills by at least 30 percent and $30 compared to historical usage.
Managing your bill
Equal Payment Plan gives customers better control over their energy spending by establishing predictable monthly payments.
Our online savings calculators help customers understand how their homes use energy – and how they can potentially reduce their consumption and better manage their summer bills.
Low- to no-cost summer energy efficiency tips
Additionally, below are some tips to help manage your energy costs all summer long.
- Set your air conditioning to the setting that comfortably meets your lifestyle needs. Hot summer days can mean higher energy bills. The further your thermostat setting is from the temperature outside, the higher your energy bill will be.
- Change or clean your air filters monthly. A dirty air filter can make a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Inspect and service your HVAC. Have your HVAC system checked by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to make sure it is operating efficiently. This will also help extend the life of the system.
- Don't cool an empty house. If you'll be out and about, adjust or program your thermostat to work around your schedule.
- Close the blinds. Shutting blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day can keep the sun's rays from heating your house.
- Grill outdoors. Cooking in the oven and on the stovetop creates a lot of indoor heat. Help save energy by firing up the grill outdoors, or prepare meals that don't require cooking.
- Use fans in occupied rooms. They circulate air to supplement air conditioning. Make sure the fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.
- Turn off unnecessary lights. Be sure to turn off lights when you leave a room. Lights emit heat and cause your air conditioning system to work harder.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting options. LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer.
- Seal air leaks with caulking and weatherstripping. And keep exterior doors closed as much as you can to keep the cool air inside.
- Eligible homeowners in the Carolinas can get a free home energy assessment, which includes an Energy Efficiency Starter Kit containing LEDs, an energy-efficient showerhead, and switch and outlet energy seals.
- Duke Energy partners with local agencies to help low-income customers who may struggle to pay their energy bills. Please visit the company's website, call 800.452.2777 (Duke Energy Progress) or 800.777.9898 (Duke Energy Carolinas) to learn more about the special assistance programs available to North Carolina and South Carolinacustomers.
- In addition, financial emergencies may occur from time to time. Duke Energy strongly encourages customers to call to learn about payment arrangements if they receive a disconnection notice and cannot pay their bill before the disconnection date.
Additionally, here are tips on how to understand your energy bill and avoid surprises during hot weather: https://illumination.duke-energy.com/articles/how-to-avoid-a-high-energy-bill-during-hot-weather.