(UNDATED) - As customers across Duke Energy service areas eagerly await the arrival of consistently warmer temperatures following a record-breaking winter, the company is offering reminders that can help save energy and money and encourage safety around the home.
"As many of our customers tackle spring cleaning projects, it's also an opportune time to consider ways to use energy more efficiently and keep safety first as we transition to warmer weather," said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy's senior vice president and chief customer officer. "Duke Energy offers a variety of products, services and information to help."
Warm weather energy-savings information
* Set your thermostat on the highest comfortable setting. If you're leaving for the day, turn it up a couple of degrees.
* Change your air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
* The arrival of spring means that summer is around the corner. Make sure your HVAC system is ready to keep you cool by having it checked by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor.
* Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day to keep the sun's rays from heating your house.
* An easy way to rid your home of clutter during spring chores is to sign up for Duke Energy's paperless billing program. Paperless billing is a free service, providing customers the convenience to receive and view their bills online and make a payment via multiple payment options. For more information visit www.duke-energy.com and click on the "Billing & Payment" link.
* For more ways to save money, improve the comfort of your home and become more energy efficient visit www.duke-energy.com and click on the "Save Energy & Money" link.
Lanier also reminds customers to remain diligent against scams targeting utility customers across the country. "We urge customers who are contacted by individuals claiming to represent Duke Energy to listen for red flags, hang up immediately if fraud is suspected and contact Duke Energy customer service using the number on their billing statement to review their account."
Call Before You Dig
Spring gardening and home improvement projects can be fun, but can also present safety challenges. One of the most potentially hazardous situations in residential areas is accidental contact with underground electric power lines, natural gas lines, community lines and other utility services. To ensure you're working safely, call an underground line locating service by dialing 811. There is no charge for the service and the call is free. For more information visit http://www.duke-energy.com/safety/call-before-you-dig.asp.
Storm safety reminders
Warmer weather also brings with it the potential for unpredictable weather. Duke Energy urges customers to be prepared:
* Check your supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc.
* Ensure a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA weather radio is on hand.
* Determine now what actions to take for family members, friends and neighbors who have special medical needs or who are elderly to ensure they have necessary emergency plans in the event of an extended power outage.
Customers are also encouraged to keep Duke Energy's outage reporting number handy for their respective utility:
* Duke Energy Carolinas: 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766)
* Duke Energy Progress: 1-800-419-6356
* Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky: 1-800-634-4300 (gas outages); 1-800-543-5599 (electric outages)
* Duke Energy Indiana: 1-800-343-3525
* Duke Energy Florida:1-800-228-8485
* Duke Energy customers can also report outages and manage their Duke Energy account from anywhere by visiting the Duke Energy mobile website from their smartphone or mobile device. For more information visit www.duke-energy.com and click "Online Services."
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.
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