As many of us are cranking the air conditioning in our homes during this heat wave, Duke Energy officials are encouraging customers to take advantage of a free program that would help the utility help you.
It's called EnergyWise Home. The program launched in 2009, but Jeff Brooks, Duke Energy spokesperson said the utility has been trying to expand it in order to further relieve the strain on its power grid, provide reliable service, and delay the need to build new power plants.
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Here's how it works: customers can sign up for free, crews install a device near your HVAC, and during times of unusually high demand Duke will activate that device temporarily cycling your compressor off and on.
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For about 15 minutes at a time over the course of four hours you'll still feel air blowing through your vents, it just won't be cold.
"In those times of extreme usage, these programs are essential to ensuring that your service remains reliable," said Brooks.
July and August are typically the times homeowners see high energy bills, but Brooks said the utility hasn't set a record peak in usage since February 2015.
Brooks said the last time Duke had to activate EnergyWise Home across the system due to a surge in energy usage was June 23.
While yours is only one household, Brooks said you can make a significant impact on your community's energy use. More than 300,000 customers are already taking part.
"If we can extend the resources that we have and make our grid more efficient, then we can avoid having to build those costly plants and keep rates lower for our customers," Brooks said.
Those who sign up for EnergyWise Home receive a $25 annual credit on their energy bill. Duke also offers up to $100 cash a year for referrals.
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Duke Energy offers tips for wise energy use during heat wave