CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mother Nature is making her presence felt this week in the Carolinas.
With the heat being felt across the region, including the Charlotte area, Duke Energy is reminding customers about the resources available to meet customers' needs and how to save energy, and money, in the process.
Duke Energy officials also announced on Thursday, July 29, the company is continuing to monitor its power plants, power lines and other equipment to help ensure customers receive reliable service during the heat wave.
"We know it's hot for our customers," Meghan Miles, Duke Energy spokesperson, told WCNC Charlotte on Thursday. "We have teams in place that are continuing to monitor weather conditions 24/7 so we can meet our customers' anticipated energy demand."
Duke Energy provided the following recommendations to help people out during the recent heat wave.
Low- to no-cost energy efficiency tips
- Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes an HVAC system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your energy usage and bill will be.
- Close blinds, drapes and curtains during the hottest part of the day. Keeping your blinds, drapes and curtains closed will help prevent the sun's rays from heating your house.
- Use a ceiling fan in occupied rooms to supplement your air conditioning. Make sure the fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction to push cool air down into living spaces. Only use ceiling fans in rooms that are occupied; fans cool people, not things.
- Grill outdoors. Using your electric oven and stovetop creates a lot of indoor heat. Help save energy by firing up the grill outdoors or prepare meals that don't require cooking.
- 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.
Track and manage 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 adjust 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.
Other energy-saving programs, tips and guidance to help you manage higher energy bills that can result from increased energy is available at Duke-Energy.com/Summer.