The warm days of summer are here, which means it is a prime time for a combination of outdoor activities and the cool comfort of indoors. Duke Energy is offering a wide array of programs and plans to help customers reduce energy usage and manage their bills, according to a press release.

Since mid-2021, costs for fuels used to produce energy have more than tripled. Duke Energy does not profit from these increased costs and the company proactively takes measures to insulate customers from these spikes. These steps include negotiating long-term fuel contracts and maintaining a diverse fuel mix, including nuclear, solar and hydro, for power generation.

“With the price of everything going up right now, we want to relieve the impact on our customers as much as possible,” said Larry Hatcher, senior vice president of customer experience and services. “We offer a variety of programs ranging from payment flexibility to financial assistance that will help our customers who may be grappling with higher bills.”

Payment Options

Two payment options include Flexible Payment Plans and the Budget Billing Plan. Payment plans allow residential customers to pay their balance over a more protracted period. Options are available for customers who either need a few extra days or require a more extended installment plan to catch up.

The Budget Billing Plan is a free and popular option for customers who like to know what to expect each month. It provides predictable monthly energy bills to help customers with their household budgeting.

Energy Efficiency

There are several programs to improve a home’s energy efficiency for customers hoping to take proactive measures to keep their energy bills manageable.

Customers who have an email on file and a smart meter receive a mid-cycle “usage alert” to provide a mid-month view of their current usage to date and a projection of their monthly bill at their current rate of usage. They can also access daily usage through their online account profile. These tools are intended to give customers insight and control over their energy use.

The Home Energy House Call is a free program for eligible Duke Energy homeowners (in Florida, the program is called a Home Energy Check). Customers receive a free assessment detailing steps they can take to increase efficiency and lower their energy bill and a free kit with energy-saving products valued at over $180.

In most Duke Energy territories, customers can find savings at the company’s online store at www.duke-energy.com. It offers energy-efficient fixtures such as thermostats, lighting and faucets. Also on the website, customers can discover rebate offers for making energy-saving home improvements.

Income-Qualified Programs

To help connect its customers in need of assistance, Duke Energy partners with community and state agencies to help those who qualify access Duke Energy and federally funded assistance programs. Programs and eligibility vary by service territory, so customers can find more information by visiting www.duke-energy.com or calling the customer care center.

· The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) covers heating- and cooling-related crises and is available throughout the year.

· The Weatherization Program helps income-qualified customers save energy and reduce expenses through energy conservation measures like weatherstripping and HVAC repairs or replacements.

· The Helping Home Fund is offered to income-qualified applicants in several Duke Energy operations territories. It provides in-home energy assessments and improvements such as replacing appliances and HVAC repairs up to $800.

· The Neighborhood Energy Saver Program is also available to income-qualified customers to help them lower their energy bills through in-home energy assessments.

The Duke Energy Share the Light Fund also assists qualifying customers struggling to pay their energy bills. Employees, customers and Duke Energy shareholders contribute to these funds, which the Duke Energy Foundation matches.

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