Duke Energy offers tips for how Ohio and Kentucky customers can stay warm, save money and conserve energy

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CINCINNATI – With weather forecasters predicting near-zero temperatures and below-zero wind chills in Ohio and Kentucky this week, Duke Energy has tips to keep energy costs under control while keeping you and your family warm.
To avoid a high-bill surprise, you can monitor and manage your energy use, even when temperatures drop for extended periods. Here are some things you can do to keep tabs on your energy use:

3 tips for understanding your bill

  • Check the number of days in your billing cycle. Most bills are for 30 days, but there are times when the billing cycle is shorter or longer. If there are more days in the bill, it could be higher.
  • Look at your electric and/or natural gas usage chart to see how your current month’s usage compares to the previous 12 months. Energy usage closely aligns with outside temperatures, so compare your current month’s usage to the same time last year or a month with similar temperatures.
  • Log in to your free Duke Energy online account to view your hourly and/or daily usage. Identifying spikes throughout the month – by day or even hour – can show what appliances and behaviors are increasing your bill.
9 ways to avoid billing surprises
  • The best way to avoid billing surprises is to track your use. Many Duke Energy electric customers receive free High Bill Alerts and Usage Alerts via email and/or text message when hotter or colder weather may be causing usage and bills to trend higher than last month.
  • Use Duke Energy’s online calculator to estimate your heating bill and avoid a high energy bill surprise.
  • Have your heating system checked regularly to maintain performance.
  • Change air filters regularly, as a dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to maximize your energy savings.
  • Lower your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting when at home and down a degree or two when you leave. If you have a heat pump, set the thermostat and leave it. Lowering it may cause the auxiliary heat to turn on, which is inefficient and expensive.
  • Leave drapes or blinds open during sunny winter days to allow the sun to warm the house. Close them at night to help insulate your home.
  • Replace standard bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LED). LEDs are more efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light.
  • Operate ceiling fans in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.
Billing and payment assistance
For customers who are unable to commit to specific dates for payments, Duke Energy partners with local assistance agencies that distribute funds to individuals in need. Each state has specific programs and eligibility requirements. Learn more by visiting duke-energy.com/home/billing/special-assistance.
Budget Billing
Customers who have more than 12 months of usage history at their current residence may qualify for Budget Billing, a free program that gives customers the option of levelized monthly payments.

Budget Billing is ideal for customers who are unable to pay a large bill now, but can afford to pay the average amount.
Deferred payments
In the event a customer is unable to pay a past-due bill, Duke Energy’s customer service specialists are available to discuss the situation and provide assistance to meet the customer’s specific needs. Specialists are available by calling 800.544.6900 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky’s operations provide electric service to about 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area and natural gas service to approximately 533,000 customers.
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.
The company’s Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.
A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2018 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” list.
More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues.
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Media contact: Lee Freedman
704.287.6150 | @DE_LeeF
24-Hour: 800.559.3853