News Release
Aug. 07, 2002

DUKE POWER OFFERS TIPS FOR STAYING COOL AND MANAGING ENERGY BILLS THIS SUMMER

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As thermometers in the Piedmont Carolinas continue to reach well into the 90s, Duke Power customers are seeing higher energy bills, even though base rates are essentially at 1986 levels.

Better home energy management is simple and inexpensive. The following tips can help customers reduce monthly power bills and make their homes more comfortable for years to come.

Tips for Staying Cool This Summer

·         Make sure your central air conditioning system or window unit is properly sized for the space it is intended to cool. Improperly sized units use more energy than necessary.

·         Remember that window air conditioning units generally are not designed to cool more than one room. Clean or replace window unit or central air conditioning system filters monthly. Dirty filters cause air conditioners to work harder and use more energy.

·         Check weather stripping around doors and caulking around windows. Properly sealed doors and windows help prevent warm outside air from entering the home.

·         Close blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day to block the sun's heat. If you have a central air conditioning system, do not close off unused rooms or close air registers in rooms. The system will be less efficient and will cost more to operate.

·         Make sure an outside air conditioning unit or heat pump is not blocked by shrubbery, leaves or other objects.

·         Set the thermostat on the highest comfortable setting. Raising the temperature just 2 degrees can reduce cooling costs by as much as 5 percent.

·         Place heat-producing appliances such as lamps and televisions away from the air conditioning thermostat to prevent inaccurate temperature readings.

·         Make sure the attic is properly ventilated to relieve excess summer heat. Duke Power recommends one square foot of free area for every 150 square feet of total attic floor space.

·         For homes without air conditioning systems, use fans to draw cooler air inside during the night and to circulate air throughout your home during the day. Fan blades should rotate clockwise in the summer months.

·         Save jobs that produce moisture -- like mopping, dishwashing and washing clothes -- for early morning or night-time hours. The humidity from these activities can make homes uncomfortable. On hot days, cook outdoors, use a microwave oven or prepare cold meals to avoid excess heat in the kitchen. 

 

Managing Your Energy Bill

Electricity consumption can increase significantly during the hot days of summer. To increase the predictability of your energy bill each month, Duke Power offers its customers an Equal Payment Plan. Details about the plan are available on Duke Power’s Web site at www.dukepower.com.

 

Customers can access their Duke Power account information online at www.dukepower.com. Current bills, 13-month billing histories and payment histories are available for our customers’ convenience to help them analyze and compare their energy usage.

 

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Power operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 19,300 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: www.dukepower.com.

 

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

 

Contact: Paige Layne
Phone: 704/594-0369
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: pclayne@duke-energy.com