More Charlotte students gain access to remote learning thanks to $25,000 in hot spots from Piedmont Natural Gas

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  • Donation will pay for 12 months of wireless internet service via mobile hot spots.

  • As many as 16,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students are in need of a reliable internet connection for remote learning.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Piedmont Natural Gas today announced it is contributing $25,000 to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Foundation’s Connect for Tech initiative to enable mobile hot spots for students who do not have home internet access for remote learning.

Without reliable internet service, students are unable to connect to the online learning tools accessible by laptops and tablets provided by CMS. The school district recently reported that as many as 16,000 students need the wireless internet connection provided by mobile hot spots.

“In the age of virtual learning, the tools students need to succeed go beyond traditional school supplies; their access to technology is critical,” said Barbara Ashford, Piedmont’s director of community relations. “Piedmont is proud to support the CMS Foundation’s efforts to secure these hot spots, to ensure all students have access to online learning tools while they are unable to attend a traditional classroom.”

Piedmont’s donation will pay for 12 months of internet service through a number of hot spots, which will be purchased and distributed by CMS.

“Piedmont Natural Gas is a valuable partner for CMS and the Charlotte community, and this contribution to the CMS Foundation comes at a very important time,” said Earnest Winston, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “The COVID pandemic continues to cause havoc in the lives of families, widening gaps between the haves and have-nots.

“One such notable gap is internet connectivity, a critical need in this era when remote learning is necessary,” Winston said. “This donation will enable us to get closer to our Connect for Tech goal of providing hot spots for all families who need them to stay connected to online learning opportunities. And for that, we are grateful.” 

For more information on how to donate to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation, visit

For more information on steps Piedmont Natural Gas has taken to assist customers and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company also supplies natural gas to power plants. Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S. 

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Jason Wheatley