News Release
Jan. 31, 2003

DUKE POWER: COLDER TEMPERATURES INCREASE ELECTRICITY USAGE

CHAROTTE, N.C. -- Winter 2002-2003 is shaping up to be a cold one – more than 30 percent colder than last winter according to National Weather Service data -- and Duke Power’s customers are feeling the effect.

 

Electricity usage for Duke Power’s customers was 20 percent to 40 percent higher than in December 2001. And with the National Weather Service projecting January temperatures to remain colder than average, customers' high energy needs will continue.

 

“Colder than normal temperatures do impact the amount of electricity our customers need and use,” said Tony Almeida, vice president of Duke Power customer services. “Fortunately, our rates are at 1986 levels, so increases customers are seeing in their bills are directly related to an increase in electricity usage,” Almeida continued.

 

Duke Power offers several Internet-based options to assist customers with understanding their electric bills and how to better manage their electricity usage, as well as payment options to allow customers to budget for unexpected high energy bills.

 

Understanding your electric bill

Duke Power customers with billing questions are encouraged to visit www.dukepower.com to view their electric account. Accessing an account through the Web site requires only an account number and zip code. Once logged onto their account, they can view a number of items, including a billing history for the past 13 months and comparative weather information for the same billing period last year. This information can be useful in seeing how extreme temperature differences impact electricity usage.

Managing your electric usage

Tips for managing electricity usage are also available on www.dukepower.com, as is an online tool that allows customers to analyze their energy usage based on such factors as number and size of appliances, heating equipment and weather.

 

Managing your energy costs

To help customers manage their monthly energy costs, Duke Power offers a variety of programs. For more information customers can visit www.dukepower.com, or contact Duke Power by calling the 24-hour customer service number listed in their local telephone directory.

 

“We understand that cold weather and higher energy bills can present hardships for our customers, and we want to help,” Almeida said. “By delivering reliable electricity that’s economically priced and providing information that helps customers understand and manage their energy costs, we are working to help customers combat the effects that extreme temperatures can present.”

 

  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 500 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