Frequently Asked Questions

Building a smarter energy grid

  • The term “smart grid” refers to the new digital technology we’re adding to modernize the energy grid. It also includes new computer systems used to manage all the new devices. The new technology enables efficient communications between us and our customers, helping us prevent and repair outages, and read your meter faster and more accurately.

  • Digital technologies will work in combination with in-home energy management systems, new energy efficiency programs, improved communication tools and customer-sited renewable energy sources like rooftop solar panels.

    You will have tools to better understand your energy usage and manage your energy bills. Smart appliances, renewable energy generation, and plug-in electric vehicles will be integrated with the smart grid, and we'll be able to detect and solve problems faster.

  • The traditional approach of building new power plants to meet demand can no longer be the only option. We have to find ways to improve our service and meet energy needs in efficient ways that have less impact on the environment. Renewable generation and energy efficiency must play larger roles.

    By deploying smart grid technologies, we can build a smarter energy infrastructure to empower you in making wiser energy decisions, and help create a cleaner, lower-carbon and more energy-efficient world.

  • Smart grid technologies, including meters, use the same type of digital technology that make cell phones, computers and wireless internet possible. We are using this technology to offer more options, improve reliability and service, and make it possible to incorporate more renewable energy generation options into the energy grid.

  • Smart grid technology can enable us to work together to keep energy affordable, reliable and clean. We’re committed to providing the information and tools necessary to best manage your comfort and costs, and digital technology is the best way to do that.

  • Smart grid technology can significantly improve our response to day-to-day power outages. In some cases, the new equipment can quickly detect and correct trouble on a power line and isolate and reroute electricity. And since smart meters are capable of conversation with computer systems at Duke Energy, we will know more about outages, which could help us respond faster to restore service.

  • Smart meters are energy meters that communicate with your energy provider through digital connections. Wireless smart meters transmit metered information from your premises back to Duke Energy using cellular or radio wave communication.

  • Smart meters have some immediate benefits, such as remote reading. Having a smart meter will also significantly reduce the need for us to estimate bills, so your energy bill will reflect your actual usage. These meters also allow for faster new service. Lastly, the smart meter will capture daily energy usage data that will help inform wiser energy decisions. 

  • Duke Energy is installing smart meters to benefit our customers and our company. These meters will pave the way for new products and services for customers. They also benefit our company, since we will no longer have to manually read meters, saving time and reducing fuel and maintenance costs. 
  • No. Participating in residential energy management and other energy-efficiency programs is completely optional. If you choose to participate, you can use the information you receive to manage your daily energy usage.

  • The smart meters will provide us with encrypted kilowatt-hour consumption information at regular intervals for billing and reliability purposes. This is similar to the data already provided by our current meters.

  • The meter make/model we select must pass a battery of rigorous tests before it is approved for use in the field. Standardized tests are used to measure accuracy during various load and weather conditions. We also test a percentage of all meters we receive from the vendor prior to installing them at an actual home or business. And we continue to monitor meter accuracy after installation by conducting routine samples and/or periodic testing.

  • We consider your information confidential and do not share nor sell it to other companies. We recognize that emerging technologies open new avenues of risk. Our digital grid components are protected with layers of cyber and physical security, and our relationships with manufacturers and regulators help ensure we have a broad view of real-time cybersecurity threats and can respond to them appropriately.

  • No. It will take a few years to fully deploy all of the new smart grid technology and realize the benefits. But there are simple things you can do in your home today to save energy and money. For example, you can switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and adjust your thermostat by a couple of degrees. Turn off electronics when they aren't in use, and unplug things you aren't using. (Fact: Electronics like cell phone and laptop chargers use energy when they're plugged in – even if you aren't using them.)

    We also have a number of resources and programs to help you save energy and money. Explore all the options here, including:

    • Get free CFLs
    • Get a free home energy report
    • Get a free in-home energy assessment
    • Get incentive money to help make home improvements
    • Learn more ways to save
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