Duke Power Offers Customers Important Cold Weather Planning Information - Duke Energy

News Release
Dec. 6, 2005

Duke Power Offers Customers Important Cold Weather Planning Information

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Winter in the Carolinas brings colder temperatures, higher energy use and the possibility of severe weather. The best time to prepare is long before the temperatures start to drop. Duke Power offers customers options and information to assist with safety, severe weather preparedness and managing energy use and electric 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 a one-time registration. Once logged in, customers can view a number of items, including their 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 can impact electricity usage.

Energy Audit Helps Identify Ways to Save
Also on www.dukepower.com is an online home energy audit that can be a valuable tool for any consumer interested in saving a few dollars. Customers enter specific information about their home and receive a comprehensive report on its energy efficiency and suggestions on how to improve it. The audit even details the typical annual cost of operating certain appliances like an electric heating system, television and washing machine.

Managing Your Energy Costs
Duke Power offers a variety of programs to help customers manage their monthly energy costs, including an Equal Payment Plan (EPP). With EPP, customers can pay an average amount each month for 11 months and settle up in the 12th month. This program helps remove the seasonal peaks and valleys in energy costs.

For more information customers can visit www.dukepower.com and click on the For Home tab, or contact Duke Power by its 24-hour customer service at 1-800/777-9898.

Storm-Related Power Outages
Along with colder temperatures, the winter months can bring ice, snow and severe weather conditions. When severe weather strikes, power outages can occur.

Duke Power encourages customers to be prepared and offers the following tips to help lessen the inconvenience of power outages.

When Severe Weather Is Forecasted

  • Ensure you have an adequate stock of storm supplies, including flashlights, batteries, medicines, first aid supplies, baby items, bottled water, non-perishable food and firewood.
  • Homeowners with wells should draw an emergency water supply in case power to their electric water pumps is interrupted.
  • If you have an emergency heating source, learn how to use it properly to prevent fire and ensure proper ventilation.

During An Outage

  • To quickly report your power outage, call Duke Power's toll-free, automated outage reporting line 800/POWERON (800/769-3766); Spanish-speaking customers can call 866/4-APAGON (866/427-2466). You can also report your power outage online at www.dukepower.com
  • Consider moving yourself and your family -- especially those with special needs  -- to an alternate location during an extended outage.
  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible.
  • Do not bring grills inside to heat or cook. Outdoor appliances can produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide without proper ventilation.
  • Listen to local radio stations for updates from Duke Power about affected areas and restoration activities.
  • During severe weather or power outages, turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This will reduce the potential for damage or fire. After the power is restored, wait 5 to 10 minutes before turning them back on.

For Your Safety

  • Stay away from all downed or sagging power lines.
  • Consider all power lines energized.
  • Do not touch anything on or near a power line (e.g., trees or tree limbs, cars, ladders, etc.).
  • Keep children and family pets away from areas where lines may have fallen (backyards, fields, schools yards, etc.).
  • Report all hazardous situations involving power lines to Duke Power and your local emergency services agency.

For more information, customers can visit www.dukepower.com, or contact Duke Power by calling its 24-hour customer service at 1-800-777-9898.

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity and value-added products and services to more than 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 19,900 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: http://www.dukepower.com.

Duke Energy is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in the Americas. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy 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: http://www.duke-energy.com.

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