Duke Energy Customers in Indiana Set Record for Electricity Use - Duke Energy

News Release
Aug. 1, 2006

Duke Energy Customers in Indiana Set Record for Electricity Use

PLAINFIELD, IND. – Duke Energy customers in Indiana have set a record for electricity use, reaching an all-time peak consumption of 6,602 megawatt hours (mwh) at 6 p.m. yesterday.

The previous Duke Energy record in Indiana was 6,409 mwh set on July 25, 2005.

“Our customers’ demand for electricity has increased daily during this recent heat wave,” said Kay Pashos, president, Duke Energy Indiana. “Duke Energy’s electric generation system has performed well in meeting the higher demand brought on by hot weather and economic growth.”

Duke Energy’s “Comfort Zone” Web site links customers to energy-saving tips, online energy tools, easy enrollment in Budget Billing and information on energy management programs. Customers can access the Web site by visiting www.duke-energy.com, choosing their state, and selecting “Comfort Zone.”

Energy-Saving Information
Some tips on managing energy consumption include:

  1. Close window coverings during the day. During peak cooling hours, solar heat gain can account for one-third of the load on an air conditioner. When home, close the drapes on the sunny side of the house or close all window coverings if leaving for the day.
  2. Raise the thermostat setting. Cooling below 75 degrees in the summer can double a bill. For each degree cooled below 78, cooling bills can rise by as much as 10 percent. On the other hand, raising the thermostat from 73 to 76 degrees could save 30 percent on air conditioning costs.
  3. Close windows at night. While it’s tempting to give the air conditioner a rest on cool nights, watch the weather forecast before opening the windows at night. If tomorrow is going to be hot again, keep the air conditioning on and the home closed through the night to keep the humidity out of house. Humidity is a significant load on an air conditioner.
  4. Insulate attic ducts. If air-conditioning ducts are visible in an attic, more insulation is probably needed on these ducts. Cool air ducts in a 120-degree attic in the summertime need to be fully buried under six inches of insulation. In other words, they need to be out of sight. The factory insulation on these ducts is usually only about one inch thick and not adequate for hot attics. Heat absorbed by exposed attic ducts can add 20 percent to 40 percent to your bills.
  5. Upgrade to high-efficiency air conditioning.  For air conditioners, there is a good reason for this. New, high-efficiency, 13 SEER air conditioners will use only half the energy, compared to a 15-year-old air conditioner. If an air conditioner is 10 years old or less, maintain it well and keep it. If it is between 10 years to 15 years old, minor repairs are okay. If an air conditioner is older than 15 years and needs substantial repairs, the best alternative is to replace it with a new, high-efficiency system. 
  6. Properly size the air conditioner. A properly sized air conditioner is very important for comfort, humidity control and energy bills. When buying a new air conditioner, it should be properly sized based on a detailed energy analysis of the home. Avoid the common mistake of a little bump-up for good measure.
  7. Replace old refrigerators.  Many faithful old refrigerators seem to run forever and it’s so easy to find an unused electric outlet in the garage. But an old refrigerator may use twice as much energy as a new, energy-efficient refrigerator. Refrain from putting the old one in the hot garage where it is only partially filled and only seldom used. This seemingly resourceful action could add $180 per year to an energy bill.

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. Duke Energy’s Indiana operations deliver safe, reliable and competitively priced electricity to more than 750,000 electric customers in portions of 69 of Indiana’s 92 counties, making it the state’s largest electric supplier. A diverse fuel mix of nuclear, coal-fired, hydroelectric and combustion-turbine generation provides approximately 28,000 megawatts of regulated generating capacity. These operations also serve more than 500,000 natural gas customers in Ohio and Kentucky. 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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