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Essential Use Customers


In the event of an energy emergency, Duke Energy may curtail electrical service to our customers either at our sole discretion or under applicable policies, guidelines, directives or procedures issued by the East Central Area Reliability Council (ECAR), National Electric Reliability Council (NERC), the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (Midwest ISO), or their successor organizations or when required by a Utility Regulatory Commission.

General Rules Applicable to Energy Emergency

Emergency electrical procedures may be necessary in the event of electric supply shortages, transmission constraints or other emergency conditions in the assigned service area of Duke Energy Ohio, Duke Energy Indiana and Duke Energy Kentucky.

An energy emergency is characterized as an anticipated or existing shortage in the supply of electrical energy. This shortage may adversely affect the operation or reliability of generating or transmission and distribution facilities.  In the event of an emergency, we may take any remedial measure that we deem reasonably necessary to alleviate the emergency condition. During an emergency, the professionals at Duke Energy will follow the procedures for Essential Use Customers as defined below.

Essential Use Customers include

  • Hospitals and emergency care facilities, limited to those providing medical care and performing in-patient surgery. 
  • Federal, state and county prisons and detention institutions
  • Police and fire stations; national guard facilities, military bases, and federal facilities critical to the national defense.
  • Radio and television stations used to transmit emergency messages and public information broadcasts relating to emergencies.
  • Water pumping plants essential to the supply of potable water to a community.
  • Filtration plants essential to the collection, treatment or disposal of a community’s sewage.
  • Emergency management and response facilities and the county-wide “911” system.
  • Nursing homes.
  • Central office telephone switching stations.
  • Blood banks.

Duke Energy does not guarantee a continuous and uninterrupted flow of power to any customer. Power interruptions may occur due to many causes other than the emergency procedures. Essential Use Customers are responsible for developing contingency plans if continuity of service is vital. Such contingency plans may include

  • Installing on-site backup generation.
  • Installing uninterruptible power supplies.
  • Establishing alternative power sources.
  • Evacuating to another location.

We will make reasonable efforts to maintain service to Essential Use Customers during an emergency and will attempt to minimize the time period of any interruption, when practical. We will attempt to identify Essential Use Customers and maintain a list with annual verification and updates.

Essential Use Customers should prepare to implement their contingency plans any time that Duke Energy personnel makes a public appeal for voluntary conservation.

If advanced indicators of an energy emergency are present, we will attempt to alert Essential Use Customers to the possibility of a power interruption. However, due to the frequently sudden onset of emergencies and the time necessary to contact all Essential Use Customers, we may not be able to reach every qualified organization.

If you believe you should be listed as an Essential Use Customer, please submit the Essential Use Customer Application form for consideration. Please note: at present, the Essential Use program is applicable only to customers in the Midwest service territory of Duke Energy.