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How Energy Works

How energy works

Electricity explained

What is energy? How is it generated? How can we use it more efficiently? From nuclear power to conventional hydroelectricity, learn how we produce and deliver the energy needed to power your home, your business and your community.

Generating electricity

  • Nuclear Energy Facilities

    About 20% of America’s electricity is generated from nuclear energy. Some states such as South Carolina generate more than 50% of their electricity from nuclear energy.
  • Oil and Gas Electricity

    Most of the electricity in the United States is generated using fossil fuels. Duke Energy operates a system of generating plants fueled by oil or natural gas to supplement the power supply during peak times.

  • Energy From Coal

    Coal plants have helped Duke Energy reliably meet customer needs for more than a century and represent about 27% of our generation portfolio. As we pursue cleaner energy technologies to meet increasing customer demand, we are shifting our fuel mix toward more low- and no-carbon fuel sources and relying less on coal-fired units.

  • Pumped Storage Hydro Plants

    Electricity itself cannot be stored, but the potential to create electricity can. Pumped-storage plants make it possible for us to store the potential energy of water and quickly deliver it when it is needed.

  • Hydroelectric Energy

    We began our operations in the Carolinas as a hydroelectric company. Today, we're still on the forefront of this important renewable energy source.

  • Conventional Hydro Plants

    Inexpensive and environmentally friendly, hydroelectric plants harness energy produced by flowing water. While hydroelectricity accounts for only a small percentage of the electricity used by our customers, it is still an important resource.

  • Solar Energy

    Across our six-state service territory, our customers use energy from around 4,000 megawatts of solar capacity. That includes large, utility-scale facilities and smaller, rooftop arrays.

  • Biopower

    Biopower can deliver electricity on demand and provide baseload-like capacity, much like fossil-fueled plants, and many consider it to be carbon-neutral.

  • Landfill Gas

    Harnessing methane from landfill gas not only provides power; it reduces harmful effects to the atmosphere and climate.

  • Wind Energy

    Investing in zero-carbon wind power is one way we’re trying to reduce our environmental footprint while meeting the demand for reliable, affordable and increasingly clean electricity.

Delivering electricity

  • Delivering Electricity

    Power generation is a complex process. Delivering electricity to your home or business depends on sophisticated distribution systems in which generating stations and power lines work together.

  • Delivering Natural Gas

    Safe, sound and underground. Duke Energy distributes natural gas to more than 1.5 million retail customers in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Natural gas is a clean, abundant and supplemental source of energy.