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Sunday December 5th

Duke Energy aims to reduce energy usage in Orange County

The solar panels near Maple View Farm are an example of the solar energy powered by Duke Energy.
Buy Photos The solar panels near Maple View Farm are an example of the solar energy powered by Duke Energy.

Duke Energy Progress, the Triangle’s Duke Energy affiliate, began canvassing Chapel Hill homes this week as part of a new energy saving program.

The project, which Duke Energy calls EnergyWise Home, aims to reduce energy usage during peak periods this summer. The program is volunteer-based and caters to the company’s residential customers only. EnergyWise Home has been advertising to Chapel Hill residents for several months throughout 2018, but this week marks Duke Energy’s first systematic effort to go door-to-door in Orange County.

“If there is a peak period of demand, this technology will allow us to reach out to customers who are enrolled in the program and lower energy usage in specific homes,” said Walter Brown, a program manager at Duke Energy. “EnergyWise is just our residential customers, but when we combine that with the energy-saving efforts of our commercial customers, we make a real difference.”

Duke Energy is in contract with Threshold Agency, a Texas-based marketing vendor who Duke Energy has used to help advertise their special programs for the past three years. A press release from Duke Energy late last week told Chapel Hill customers to look out for well-branded vehicles and oversized badges on anyone canvassing for the program. The company emphasized that there are never any costs for customers to enroll in EnergyWise Home.

“Scamming is always a concern for us as a large company,” Brown said. “We are always trying to protect our customers and communicate with them. In many cases local law enforcement are the first people we reach out to to make sure that they are aware of any canvasing that we plan to do, and so that they can help warn people about potential scammers.”

EnergyWise Home is already operating in many of Duke Energy’s other markets, and over 170,000 of the company’s 7.4 million customers are enrolled in the program. This and other projects are representative of Duke Energy’s environmental push over the last several years both to save money and to use less power. 

@drewway99

city@dailytarheel.com

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