Duke Energy continues to monitor the first winter storm of 2017; crews prepared to respond

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy is closely monitoring the first winter storm of the year, which is expected to bring snow to North Carolina and South Carolina this weekend.

Heavy wet snow or freezing rain can cause outages due to the weight they create on tree limbs that can break or sag into power lines. Widespread outages usually do not occur until there is more than six inches of wet snow or a quarter-of-an-inch of ice accumulation.
At this time, the company is not expecting widespread outages in areas where the snow is dry and accumulation totals do not exceed six inches. However, in areas where snow accumulations exceed six inches, some power outages could occur.
Duke Energy meteorologists will continue to monitor weather conditions and the company will adjust its preparation plans accordingly. Weather can be unpredictable, so it is always good to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may deliver. Snow can create hazardous driving conditions resulting in traffic accidents and downed power poles causing isolated outages.
The company is prepared to respond if severe weather situations occur. Line technicians, service crews and other personnel are available throughout its service area and are ready to respond anytime outages and emergencies occur.

Safety Reminders

  • We encourage customers to prepare by checking their supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc. Also, ensure a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA radio is on hand.

  • Families who have special medical needs or elderly members should closely monitor weather forecasts and make plans for potential alternate arrangements should an extended outage occur.

  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Duke Energy and your local police department.

  • If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.

  • If you are driving and encounter emergency responders or other roadside work crews, remember to MOVE OVER, it's the law in North Carolina, but a good practice for all drivers.

Reporting outages

Customers who experience an outage during the storm have choices on how to report it:

  • Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)

  • Call the automated outage-reporting system at 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766) if you are a Duke Energy Carolinas customer and 1-800-419-6356 if you are a Duke Energy Progress customer.

  • Report an outage or view current outages online at www.duke-energy.com/winterstorm

Duke Energy also will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur.

Cold temperatures increasing demand

As temperatures are forecasted to dive well below freezing later this weekend and early next week, Duke Energy is prepared to meet its customers' energy needs across the Carolinas.

Our system operators are closely monitoring the electric power system and the company has an adequate supply of electricity to meet demand.

The low temperatures will put higher stress on the equipment used to generate and deliver electricity. Isolated equipment problems are possible, which could result in some scattered outages.

When temperatures plummet, energy bills can skyrocket as customers bump up their thermostats to stay warm. Customers can use less and reduce their costs by following these cold weather tips:

Money-saving tips to combat the cold

  • The thermostat can be the biggest contributor of high winter bills. Select the lowest comfortable setting on your thermostat when you're home, then lower the temperature a degree or two when you leave.

  • Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.

  • Inefficient heating can also add to monthly power bills during colder temperatures. Regular service calls from a licensed technician will help to properly maintain your heating and cooling system.

  • The ceiling fan is a great way to enhance your home's warmth in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.

  • On sunny days, leave your drapes or blinds open to allow the sun's rays to warm the house. Close your drapes at night to provide additional insulation for the windows.

  • Wear warm clothing for additional energy savings at home. That way, you can bump down the thermostat a degree or two and still stay warm.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 7.4 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. The company also distributes natural gas to more than 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its commercial business operates a growing renewable energy portfolio and transmission infrastructure across the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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