Duke Energy clarifies unexpected text message on energy use

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Friday, January 5, 2024
Duke Energy clarifies unexpected text message
The text detailed ways to reduce energy during peak times between 6-9 a.m. Friday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Many Duke Energy customers are raising concerns because of an unexpected text message from the company. The text detailed ways to reduce energy during peak times between 6-9 a.m. Friday.

"Unless there is something we don't know about unless Duke has some generator that has gone off line for whatever reason," said Paul Sotkiewicz of E-Cubed Policy Associates. "But again I don't have any information if that is true or not. That would be the only reason for a message to come out about the six to nine in the morning plea for conservation."

With no other emergency alerts in regions with similar overnight temperatures, experts are puzzled. "Companies do make mistakes," said Sotkiewicz. "However, I think that there is some concern given what they experienced in late December of last year." In December of 2022 Moore County experienced a substation attack. The damage left around 40,000 people without power for several days.

Jeff Brooks of Duke Energy provided clarification around the message. He said the notification was part of an educational campaign related to cold temperatures.

"Let me say very clearly, there are no reliability concerns for tomorrow and this notification was not related to a reliability issue that we're experiencing," said Brooks. "So, you know, we're going to go back and take a look at some of the wording and try to see if we can improve that communication, should we do any future communication with customers."

ABC11 asked several questions about the timing, the growth in the Triangle, and if there were any threats to any substations. "Tonight's notification created some confusion," said Brooks. "And we apologize for that."

Duke Energy describes on their site how customers can hep reduce energy use such as setting the thermostat 3 degrees above preferred temperature, then during peak times set it below preferred temperature.