Duke asks customers to save power during cold

UPSTATE — As temperatures across the state and nation continue to plummet to historic lows, Duke Energy officials are asking the company’s customers to conserve power as extreme temperatures continue.

On a night of record frigid temperatures Monday, thousands in the Upstate went without power for some time after Duke Energy experienced an equipment overload, according to spokeswoman B.J. Gatten.

The outage affected not only Duke customers, but Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative customers as well, as a Duke transmission line which serves three Blue Ridge substations had to be taken offline because of overload.

Below are some steps customers can take to reduce electric consumption, according to a release from Duke Energy.

• The thermostat is a real culprit of higher winter bills. To help save energy and money, select the lowest comfortable setting when home, and bump the thermostat down a degree or two when leaving home.

• The ceiling fan in the home is a great way to stay cool in the summer — and warm in the winter. Simply set the fans to operate in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.

• Leave your drapes or blinds open to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house.

• Inefficient heating can also add to monthly power bills during colder temperatures. One of the easiest things customers can do to support heating efficiency is to change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.

• Find these and other tips at Just click on the “save energy and money” link.

Duke Energy Customers who experience an outage should call 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766). Customers may also report an outage or view current outages online at