Frequently Asked Questions

  • EnergyWise Home is a voluntary residential program available with no out-of-pocket cost that was created to temporarily reduce power consumption during periods of peak energy demand. It was designed based on similar successful programs that have been used in other parts of the country for decades, but the local program has been customized for the energy usage patterns in our area.
  • Demand is the amount of electricity needed at any given time. Power usage fluctuates due to weather conditions and industrial, commercial and residential electricity usage. When electricity demand is at its highest, it’s called peak demand. In our area, peak demand is most likely to occur during extremely hot or cold weather during the summer or winter.
  • EnergyWise Home uses smart technology to reduce power consumption used by major appliances in your home during times of unusually high electricity demand. Qualified major appliances are defined as central air systems, heat pumps using resistive strip heat and electric water heaters. These periods of reducing peak demand are called “events.”

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.

    When you enroll in EnergyWise Home, Duke Energy Progress will arrange (at no cost to you) for one or both of the following activities: 1) Arrange for an approved contractor to install smart, proven technology called a “switch” to the major appliance that you enroll (specifically the central air, heat pump and/or water heater) and/or 2) Arrange for your own existing smart thermostat to be enrolled in EnergyWise Home through the thermostat manufacturer.

    On the rare occasions when Duke Energy Progress decides to use EnergyWise Home to meet peak demand, a signal will be sent to the smart device(s) (switch or thermostat) to reduce energy use. The switch technology will cycle the appliances off/on during the period of peak demand and the smart thermostats will adjust the temperature settings to reduce power consumption.
  • There are several options to participate in the EnergyWise Home Program.

    If you have a qualifying smart thermostat it’s as easy as enrolling your thermostat here.

    If you don’t have a qualifying smart thermostat you can enroll any of these appliance types by using our switch installation option: 1) central air conditioning, 2) your qualifying heat pump and/or 3) your electric water heater.

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll their electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • Depending on the option you choose, there are two ways we can reduce energy used by your air conditioner during summer load peaks.

    • Our switch technology allows us to temporarily reduce energy consumption on those rare occasions when there is unusually high energy demand by cycling power off and on to your air conditioner’s compressor for a portion of each half hour. (The fan continues to operate normally.) When activated on weekdays, the cycles occur for up to four hours, typically between 1 and 7 p.m. The process is automatic and requires no effort from you.
    • The smart thermostat technology allows us to adjust your thermostat, which will reduce energy consumption on those rare occasions when there is unusually high energy demand by increasing the temperature setting, which reduces the run time of your air conditioner’s compressor. When activated on weekdays, the temperature adjustments occur for up to four hours, typically between 1 and 7 p.m. The process is automatic and requires no effort from you.
  • Depending on the option(s) you choose, there are two ways we can reduce energy used by your heat pump and one way for your electric water heater during winter load peaks.

    • Our switch technology allows us to temporarily reduce energy consumption during times of unusually high energy demand by cycling power off to your electric water heater. It is typically activated between 6 and 9 a.m. Your water heater retains hot water for an extended period because it is well-insulated. The process is automatic and requires no effort from you.
    • Our switch technology option allows us to temporarily cycle off your resistive heat strips which will reduce energy consumption of your heat pump during times of unusually high energy demand. This can occur up to four hours, but typically between 6 and 9 a.m. The process is automatic and requires no effort from you.
    • The smart thermostat technology option allows us to adjust your personal thermostat which will reduce energy consumption during times of unusually high energy demand by decreasing or increasing the thermostat temperature setting, which reduces the run time of your heat pump. When activated, the temperature adjustments occur for up to four hours, typically between 6 and 10 a.m. for winter events and typically between 1 and 7 p.m. for summer events. The process is automatic and requires no effort from you.
    • For the switch options – After the EnergyWise technology is successfully installed at your home, you will receive a $25 bill credit for each different type of appliance (air conditioner, heat pump with resistive strip heat and electric water heater) you have enrolled – up to $75. And each year after 12 months of continued participation, you will receive an additional $25 bill credit for each type of device you have enrolled. For instance, if you enroll your air conditioner, heat pump with resistive strip heat and your electric water heater, you will receive a $75 credit. And you will receive another $75 credit each year that the devices remain on the program.
    • For the customer-owned smart thermostat option – After successful enrollment of your thermostat in the EnergyWise Home program, you will receive a $75 e-gift card within 60 days. And each year after 12 months of continued participation, you will receive an additional $25 e-gift card.
    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • In the summertime …

    • With the switch option, EnergyWise Home is designed to cycle the air conditioner’s compressor off and on for a portion of each half hour, not to turn it completely off. Your system’s fan will continue to operate normally. On the energy efficiency of the home, some customers may experience a more significant temperature rise.
    • With the “smart thermostat” option, EnergyWise Home is designed to gradually adjust your personal thermostat by increasing the thermostat setpoint. With very minor adjustments, the impact should also be minimal. Depending on the energy efficiency of the home, some customers may notice minimal temperature variations.
    In the wintertime …

    • With the switch option, EnergyWise Home is designed to cycle the resistive heat strips of a heat pump off during an event. However, the compressor will continue to operate just without the aid of the resistive strip heat. Depending on the energy efficiency of the home, some customers may experience a more significant temperature rise.
    • With the smart thermostat option, EnergyWise Home is designed to gradually adjust your personal thermostat by decreasing the thermostat setpoint. Depending on the energy efficiency of the home, some customers may notice some temperature variations. With minimal adjustments, the impact should also be minimal.
    An event will not last more than four hours on an event day.

    Also, for your convenience, EnergyWise Home will not be activated on weekends or holidays, except in the event of a system emergency. Additionally, you may choose up to two days per summer season to override EnergyWise air conditioning events.
  • EnergyWise Home is designed to operate on electric water heaters* that are 30 gallons or more. Because your water heater acts as a giant thermos, it will retain hot water for an extended period of time. Factors to consider would be the size of your water heater and how often and how much hot water you would use during our typical control hours of 6 and 9 a.m. (which, again, these events are rare).

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • When electricity demand is unusually high, EnergyWise Home will be used. These events are rare. The summer season months are May through September. The winter season months are December through March. The number of hours per year that EnergyWise Home is activated depends on how extreme the summer and the winter weather is for that year. In a typical year, EnergyWise Home may be activated no more than 60 hours per season; however, if the weather is mild, the program most likely will not be activated as often.

    Additionally, the hours of use are only a few hours on a rare event day. In the summer, hours of use are typically between 1 and 7 p.m. and in the winter between 6 and 10 a.m. Duke Energy Progress will not cycle for more than a total of 60 hours per summer or winter season or for more than a four-hour period at one time.

    EnergyWise Home will not be activated on weekends or holidays, except in the event of a system emergency.

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • No. Using the switch technology of EnergyWise Home is safe for your air conditioner. Duke Energy Progress has invested in proven technology that has been safely used for programs like EnergyWise Home for over 20 years. Our program uses the latest switch technology that should not allow your air conditioner to short cycle, causing a problem with your unit.

    No. Using your own smart thermostat to adjust a temperature setting is a natural function of your thermostat.
  • No. Using your own smart thermostat to adjust a temperature setting is a natural function of your thermostat.
  • No. You will not see an increase in your electric bill. Duke Energy Progress is only changing the time of day your enrolled appliance (air conditioner, heat pump and/or water heater) runs. Your enrolled appliance should run for the same number of overall minutes in a day, so your kWh should be the same whether an event occurs or not.

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • EnergyWise Home plays an important role when a period of high electric demand places an unusual burden on the area’s energy supply. The program helps ensure the reliability of the electricity system by spreading out energy usage over a period of time. Also, by reducing the need for peak-time power that can be generated by non-renewable power plants, EnergyWise Home helps lessen those greenhouse emissions and allows us all to use the available power more efficiently. It’s an easy way you and your family can make a real difference.
  • Yes. EnergyWise Home is an excellent example of how each of us can help create a cleaner, more reliable energy future for us all. Its success depends on the participation of many individual families, but when combined, the impact is great.

    On days with extreme weather, electric demand can become so high that the electric supply can be stretched to its limits. Reducing the use of residential air conditioning, emergency strip heating or electric water heating helps lessen this high demand. The cumulative reduction from many EnergyWise participants will help lower overall electric usage across the system power grid.

    Additionally, EnergyWise Home helps lessen greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for peak-time power that is often generated by non-renewable fuel plants.
  • In order to enroll in in the summer EnergyWise Home program, you must have an electric central air conditioning or a heat pump with a centrally ducted system in good working order. For the winter program, you must have a heat pump using resistive strip heat and/or an electric water heater with at least 30 gallons of capacity and be in good working order. The residential electric service account must be in your name. You must occupy the residence being enrolled.

    The smart thermostat option requires you to own a qualified thermostat to participate. Your equipment cannot use natural gas or any fuel source other than electricity to heat your home.

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • Renters can enroll in the EnergyWise Home program. The landlord/owner of the rented property must sign a Tenant Authorization Form agreeing that the property can be enrolled. The Tenant Authorization Form must be returned to the address indicated on the form before the property can be enrolled.
  • Currently, only residential customers are eligible for the EnergyWise Home program. However, other programs similar to EnergyWise Home exist for commercial and industrial customers.
  • Only the person whose name is listed as the primary customer on the Duke Energy Progress account, or another authorized person on the account, may sign up for the program. If you are authorized on the account, you may arrange the enrollment.
  • You as the property owner can agree to have the EnergyWise Home device installed at your property, but your tenant(s) must separately enroll in EnergyWise Home. You must sign and approve the Tenant Authorization Form for the properties before we can install any devices at the desired location(s).
  • No. To participate in EnergyWise Home, all air conditioning units and/or thermostats at the home must be enrolled.
  • Room (window) air conditioners do not qualify for participation. The technology only works on central air conditioning systems.
  • No. To participate in EnergyWise Home, all electric water heaters and/or heat pumps at the home must be enrolled.

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • No. Participation is completely free and there are no installation or maintenance charges.

  • For the switch option – You will receive your first credit on your bill within one to two billing cycles after your installation date – and again every year on your anniversary date after 12 consecutive months on the program.

    For the customer-owned smart thermostat – You will receive an initial e-gift card within 60 days of successful enrollment and an anniversary e-gift card every year after 12 consecutive months on the program.
  • The switch option incentives are designed based on appliance types that are enrolled, not on the number of appliances enrolled. Each appliance type allows for an initial $25 bill credit and an annual bill credit of $25 on your anniversary date of continuous participation.

    The smart thermostat option allows for an initial $75 e-gift card and an annual $25 e-gift card on your anniversary date of continuous participation.
  • No. The EnergyWise Home program works by shifting energy consumption from periods of highest demand to a different time of the day. You should not see a change in your regular energy bill (kWh usage), but you will see a $25 credit within two months after successful installation. You’ll get another credit again after 12 months of continuous participation and every year you participate. If you enrolled your thermostat, your incentives are paid as an initial $75 e-gift card, and you’ll get another $25 e-gift card after 12 months of continuous participation and every year you participate.

    Most importantly, EnergyWise Home will help keep the cost of power lower in the future by helping to reduce the need for new peaking power plants.
  • For the switch option – You may select up to two days per summer season to override the cycling of your air conditioner. You can do this by 1) calling ahead to request a day that you already know that cycling your air conditioner would be inconvenient or 2) calling during the actual cycling event to allow the compressor to run normally. Remember, the cycles only affect the air conditioner’s compressor; the fan will continue to run normally. Call us at 866.541.8886 to request an override.

    For the smart thermostat option – Depending on the type of thermostat you own, you would override an event from your thermostat or from the thermostat’s app.
  • You may select up to two days per summer season (May to September) and up to two days per winter season (December to March) to override an event. If you make more than two requests in one season, you will be removed from the program and you will forfeit future annual bill credits.
  • Your electric water heater must have a capacity of 30 gallons or more.

    • With the smart switch option, your heat pump must be in good working order and have resistive heat strips. An electric furnace does not qualify.
    • With the smart thermostat option, you must have a qualifying thermostat. View what qualifies online.
  • To qualify, you must enroll at least one of the following appliance types: central air conditioner, heat pump with emergency heat strips or electric water heater. Once you have selected the appliance type(s), all units must be enrolled. For example, if you want to enroll in the switch option and you have three air conditioners all three must be enrolled and participate in the program.

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • As long as you have at least one of the qualifying electric systems, you can participate. For example, even if you have gas heat and water heating, you may enroll your central air conditioning system and participate.

    *Note – Customers only have the option to enroll electric water heaters in the following North Carolina counties: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey.
  • You may re-enroll at any time if your participation has been canceled. However, you will need to remain on the program for 12 continuous months before you qualify for the annual rewards.
  • Generally, your switch will be installed within 30 to 45 days after you enroll.
  • Generally, it takes less than two weeks.
  • No. You do not need to be home for the switch on your air conditioner to be installed unless your air conditioner is not easily accessible. In that case, we will call you to set up an appointment for the installation.
  • Yes. These installations are considered in-home and require your presence.
  • After your new equipment is installed, please call us at 866.541.8886. We will arrange to have your switch reinstalled so that it operates on your new air conditioner or heat pump. There is no charge for this service.
  • You may withdraw from the program at any time. This program is always voluntary. Simply call 866.541.8886 to speak with an EnergyWise Home representative.
  • Yes.
  • All questions can be directed to the EnergyWise Home call center at 866.541.8886.

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