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-Information courtesy Tanya Evans, District Manager, Duke Energy
The health and safety of Duke Energy customers, our employees and the communities where we operate is our top priority. As one of the many essential services responding to this national emergency, our work continues even while there is a stay-at-home ordinance.
We continue to respond to power outages and other emergencies. Our company technicians are also completing service orders such as new electric connections, lighting repairs and tree trimming around our lines and substations, but we are doing it in ways that follow the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s safety guidelines.
Equipping Nonprofits to Weather the Pandemic
The NC Center for Nonprofits and Duke Energy have teamed up with the Nonprofit Risk Management Center to offer a FREE four-part webinar series, Building Organizational Resilience, to help nonprofits take the necessary steps to prepare for a crisis. The webinar series begins on April 8. Click here to learn more.
Also, in addition to providing support to hunger relief efforts across the state, the Duke Energy Foundation is reaching out to our non-profit grant recipients and providing flexibility in using existing grants to respond to their changing needs as a result of COVID-19.
Working in Your Community
As one of the many essential services responding to this national emergency, our work continues – even in those areas with stay-at-home ordinances. You may still see some of our field technicians working in and around your neighborhood. Their work is helping to ensure that residential communities, businesses and critical facilities have the power they need throughout this time.
As a precaution, if you do see our workers, please avoid approaching them and their work areas. If there is a need to speak with them, be aware that they will be maintaining at least 6 feet of separation. We’ll also be keeping this recommended distance anytime direct interaction for essential services is required on customer properties, inside homes and businesses, consistent with CDC and other public health guidelines.
Financial Relief for Customers
We realize that many of our customers are facing unusual financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. That’s why we’ve taken several measures to help lessen the strain on those most vulnerable. We’ve suspended disconnections for nonpayment and we’re waiving fees for late payments, credit card payments and walk-in pay centers. We’ve also relaxed our timelines for payment extensions.
We encourage all customers to stay as current as possible with their payments to avoid building up a large balance that may be difficult to manage later. If you or anyone you know needs help paying, a number of assistance programs may also be available.
Finally, if spending more time at home is affecting your budget, consider these quick tips to help keep energy use in check:
- Wash full laundry loads rather than multiple, small loads. You’ll save water, detergent and energy.
- Cover liquids and wrap foods before putting them in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and force your appliance’s compressor to work harder.
- Choose “sleep” over “screen saver.” While effective in preserving your computer monitor, screen savers require the same amount of energy as when a computer is in full use.
Throughout this challenging time, we will continue to provide you with more energy-saving ideas and ways to save. And remember, customers with smart meters can monitor their daily consumption online to gain better insight into new usage patterns.
If you have a more complex issue and need to speak with a customer service representative, we are available to help you Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In an effort to keep our employees healthy and safe without compromising availability, our specialists are now working remotely and are able to provide all the same services as usual.
Stay Alert to Scams
Sadly, we all must stay alert to the possibility of criminal activity, especially during times of uncertainty. Remember that Duke Energy never asks for personal information over the phone and never demands payment using money orders or gift cards. If you are unsure if a call or visit is legitimate, hang up or decline service and call us directly.
We will continue to look for ways to help you negotiate these difficult times. You can keep up with our preparations as circumstances change by visiting dukeenergyupdates.com.