Saturday’s rotating outages to protect overall energy grid concluded
Crews continue to restore power from Friday’s winter weather
CHARLOTTE – Duke Energy asked customers to conserve energy usage as crews restored power following rotating outages in the Carolinas in response to high-energy demand Saturday morning.
Due to extreme cold weather causing increased demand and a shortage of available power in the Southeast region, the company was forced to interrupt service to about 500,000 customers to maintain the energy grid and prevent further disruptions. Power is currently being restored and should be completed today.
“This winter blast and customer demand has been unprecedented in recent history of our region and company,” said Jason Hollifield, Carolinas Storm Director. “Like other utilities, Duke Energy took action to protect the overall energy grid – avoiding damage that could have meant even longer outages.”
Hollifield explained the company has systems in place to target prioritized circuits that can reduce energy demand to best maintain the electric system. That process stopped mid-morning Saturday. Duke Energy crews are bringing back service to those who experienced outages as a result of high demand and expect those customers to be restored today.
“We appreciate the patience and support from our customers,” said Hollifield. “While it is possible we will experience rotating outages again tomorrow, customers can help keep the lights on for everyone by conserving their energy use for the next 24 hours.”
The company is also restoring power to about 40,000 customers who experienced outages from a high-wind event on Friday. The company will communicate directly with those customers to let them know when they can expect service to be restored.
The company continues to ask for energy conservation during the extreme cold temperatures in the Carolina to help avoid rotating outages in the early morning hours of Christmas Day. Energy conservation can help keep power on for all customers.
Some basic energy conservation steps customers can take:
- Select the lowest comfortable thermostat setting and bump it down several degrees whenever possible.
- Avoid using large appliances – this means appliances with a three-pronged plug, such as dishwashers, ovens and dryers – during high-demand periods like early winter mornings.
- Shift non-essential activities, like laundry, to late evening hours when power demand is lower.
- Charge electric vehicles overnight.
- If you have an electric water heater, limit the use of hot water as much as possible.
- For more energy-saving, bill-lowering tips, check out our Lower-My-Bill toolkit.
If your power is off, turn off appliances and other electrical devices that may have been on when the power went out, so there’s not an immediate surge on the system when power is restored.
Bringing many customers back online during extremely cold temperatures can add stress to the system.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.