Category: Utilities

March 20th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Important COVID-19 updates

Our highest responsibility to you is the delivery of reliable natural gas service. That’s always important, but never more so than now as we navigate this unprecedented time together.

Beyond that, we are committed to finding additional ways to help protect and serve the whole community, and especially those who are most vulnerable. Here’s an update on some of what we’re doing.

Financial relief

We understand that many customers may be facing unexpected financial hardships. To help, we have suspended disconnections for nonpayment for home and business accounts during this time. Effective March 21, we will waive all fees for late payments and returned checks. Customers who were recently disconnected can contact us to make arrangements for service restoration.

We continue to encourage customers to stay as current with payments as possible to avoid building up large balances for later. In addition, we are relaxing our usual timelines for payment arrangements to help those affected better manage their bills.

Contributions to our communities

To help our employees, customers and communities in this challenging time, we are donating $1.3 million to COVID-19 relief agencies across our service territories for Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy. This money will be distributed through local nonprofits to help feed the hungry and support other needs of those affected by the pandemic.

Precautions for face-to-face interactions

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are taking extra precautions with in-person customer meetings and interactions. Our employees may ask a series of questions before entering your home or facility. They may also wear special protective clothing and ask that you help them maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. Remember also that our employees and contractors will always have proper identification.

Alternative solutions for customer services

While you can still call to speak to a customer service representative, you can find nearly all you need by visiting our website. You can view and pay bills, start and stop service, get information about extended payment plans, manage your account and much more.

We will continue to look for ways to help our customers negotiate these difficult times. You can keep up with our preparations as circumstances change by visiting

Stay healthy and safe,

Barbara Higgins,

Chief Customer Officer

Piedmont Natural Gas

Posted in Business, Health, New Bern, Utilities

March 15th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

An important COVID-19 update: Working to serve you and ensure the safety of our workforce and communities.

At Piedmont Natural Gas, the safety and well-being of our customers and employees is a top priority. As your natural gas provider, we remain committed to delivering the vital service you need while helping to protect the health of the communities we serve.

We recognize some customers may be facing unusual financial hardships, and we are suspending disconnections for nonpayment effective immediately. This applies to all home and business accounts in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. We are also offering increased payment flexibility for customers who need extra time to pay their bill. Customers with special circumstances can call customer service 800.752.7504, Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern with payment requests.

We are also urging customers to use our online tools for billing and payment or to request to start, stop or move service.

To protect the communities we serve, we are asking our employees to take steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We’re limiting travel, working from home where possible, restricting visitors to company offices, and requiring employees to stay home for 14 days if they have recently visited a country subject to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel advisory. Technicians who regularly interact with customers will maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from customers, avoid handshaking, and follow best hygiene practices.

We will continually evaluate and adapt precautions as this situation develops to ensure we provide the excellent customer service you know and expect of us at Piedmont Natural Gas.


Piedmont Natural Gas

Posted in Health, Utilities

September 4th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

As Hurricane Dorian heads up the Carolina coastline, Duke Energy is projecting it could cause more than 700,000 power outages – some possibly lasting several days – based on the storm’s current forecasted track.

The slow-moving, powerful hurricane will bring tropical-storm-force winds and rain over a large portion of the Carolinas. The company projects power outages are likely to occur Thursday and Friday:

  • In North Carolina’s Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill).
  • In South Carolina’s Pee Dee region (Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg).
  • Along the entire coasts of both North Carolina and South Carolina – extending to communities up to 100 miles inland.

Power outage projections are based on the company’s storm modeling tool, which analyzes storm track, storm size, wind speed, wind-field size, ground saturation and the history of previous hurricanes in the Carolinas.

More than 9,000 power restoration workers in Carolinas

Duke Energy crews will begin repairs as soon as conditions safely allow. Duke Energy is moving an extra 4,000 repair workers from 23 states and Canada to the Carolinas in anticipation of the hurricane’s arrival. The crews will complement the 5,000 Duke Energy lineworkers and tree personnel permanently based in the Carolinas – creating a total workforce of almost 9,000.

Before power can be restored, crews first must assess the extent of damage – which can sometimes take 24 hours or more – to determine which crews, equipment and supplies are needed to expedite repairs. Crews will restore power, where possible, while completing damage assessment.

Posted in Hurricane, New Bern, Utilities, Utilities

February 9th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The Board of Aldermen meets Tuesday to consider the adjustment. 

Here is the background information:







  1. Discussion and Consideration of Wholesale Electric Cost






To: North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency Board of Commissioners and Alternates

FROM: Kathy L. Moyer, Vice President, Operations

DATE: January 28, 2019


 The Board of Directors adopted, at its meeting on January 25, 2019, the following changes to NCEMPA’s wholesale power service rates based on the recommendations of the NCEMPA Rate Committee and the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners:

  1. A 1.2% increase to Full Requirements rate effective April 1, 2019 through Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Schedule FR-4;
  2. Continued suspension of Rider 1 through September 2019 to retain the 2017 FRPPA true-up credit of $4.4M within working capital.

These changes were reviewed in detail by the NCEMPA Rate Committee at its meeting on January 10, 2019, and a summary of the information was presented to the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners at its January 23, 2019 meeting. 

In accordance  with the North Carolina General Statutes, Section 159B-10, the changes  to  the rate schedules adopted by the Board of Directors will become effective unless rejected within 30 days by the vote of 2/3 in number of the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners.

Thus, if the Board of Commissioners  desires to  reject the rates adopted by the Board of Directors, it must take action prior to February 27, 2019. If the Board of Commissioners takes no action, the rate schedule and riders adopted will become effective as noted.

Please contact me at (919) 760-6225 if you wish to discuss further these wholesale rate changes as adopted by the Board of Directors.

The attachments include an explanation of these rate changes together with marked copies of the rate schedule and riders listed.


cc:  NCEMPA City Managers NCEMPA Utility Directors NCEMPA Finance Directors

Gary Brunault, GOS Sr. Management Staff

ElectriCities Board of Directors

KM/ts                                                                                                      919.760.6000

1427 Meadow Wood Blvd.

Raleigh, North Carolina 27604     

North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency Wholesale Power Service Rate Changes

Approved by the ElectriCities Board of Directors on January 25, 2019

The Board of Directors adopted, at its meeting on January 25, 2019, the following changes to NCEMPA’s wholesale power service rates based on the recommendations of the NCEMPA Rate Committee and the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners.


  1. A 1.2% increase to Full Requirements rate effective April 1, 2019 through Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Schedule FR-4;
  2. Continued suspension of Rider No. 1 through September 2019 to retain the 2017 FRPPA true-up credit of $4.4M within working

Each item is described in more detail below:


The Rate Committee met on January 10, 2019 to review updated cost projections for NCEMPA. The 2019-2023 DEP Production System Projections were generally in-line with previous projections reviewed in September 2018. Due to the net effect of the updated cost projections and to maintain target working capital levels, the Rate Committee recommends a 1.2% rate increase effective April 1, 2019. The Demand and Energy rates will be adjusted to align the FR rate structure with DEP’s updated cost projections. Beyond 2019, the rate path includes a projected 3.0% rate increase in 2020. The updated FR-4 rate is proposed to be effective April 1, 2019.


The Rate Committee recommends continued suspension of Rider No. 1 through September 2019 to retain the 2017 FRPPA true-up credit of $4.4M within working capital. Rider No. 1 allows for the suspension and reinstatement of Rider No. 1 on a year-to-year basis upon the recommendation of Board of Commissioners and approval of Board of Directors. In September 2018, the Board of Directors approved suspension of Rider No. 1, keeping the $4.4M FRPPA true-up credit in working capital until the January 2019 Rate Committee meeting to provide for planning flexibility.

Effective: April 1, 2012.&




Service under this Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Rate Schedule is applicable to all Members as defined in the Full Requirements Power Sales Agreement between North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (“Power Agency”) and its Members, dated as of April 24, 2015 (the “FRPSA”), and is subject to the provisions of the FRPSA and the Debt Service Support Contract between Power Agency and its Members, dated as of April 24, 2015 (the “DSSC”). This rate schedule, as supplemented and amended, is applicable for the sale of Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply, as defined in the FRPSA, for use and resale from existing facilities of adequate type and service. This rate schedule is applicable commencing with the billing month of April, 201&2. to be billed in May, 201&.2_.


Full Requirements Monthly Charges shall consist of the following Demand Charge and Energy Charge:

Demand Charge:

$ 22.4 per  kW of  Billing Demand Energy Charge:

2.530M94 ¢ per kWh of Billing Energy

    1. Determination of Billing Demand

Billing Demand for each Member shall be the average kW measured at the Delivery Point, as such term is defined in the FRPSA, in the 60-minute interval during the current billing month, which is coincident with Duke Energy Progress’s (“DEP”) Monthly Peak Demand, as such term is defined in the Full Requirements Power Purchase Agreement between Power Agency and DEP, dated as of September 5, 2014 (the “FRPPA”), less any capacity allocation, in kW, from the Southeastern Power Administration (“SEPA”) at such point of delivery, but not less than zero.

           2,Determination of Billing Energy

Billing Energy shall be the total energy measured during the current billing month at the Delivery Point, in kWh, less any energy allocation, in kWh, from SEPA at such point of delivery.


Pursuant to the FRPSA and the DSSC, the Monthly Bill will include the Full Requirements Monthly Charges, specified above, and amounts calculated in accordance with the applicable Rider(s) to this Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Rate Schedule, which are incorporated herein and made a part hereof. Nothing in this Full Requirements Bulk Power Supply Rate Schedule shall be construed to prevent Power Agency from reviewing and amending this Rate Schedule or the Riders hereto and the charges contained herein from time to time.

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Utilities, Utilities

December 19th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

When power is restored, reduce your consumption and save on reheating costs by adjusting your thermostat two degrees above the current temperature inside your home.

Once your thermostat reaches that temperature, continue increasing it by two degree increments until you reach your desired setting.

This will keep the heat strips from coming on. For example, if your thermostat says 62 degrees when the power comes back on, increase it to 64 degrees. When the temperature inside your home reaches 64 degrees, increase the thermostat to 66 degrees … and so on until you get back to your desired setting.

Posted in Duke Energy, New Bern, Utilities, Utilities Tagged with: ,

December 19th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Update: According to Alderman Sabrina Bengel, “Getting ready to come hot with the repaired line but we may still have to work through some issues as a result of this outage.

“Main reason is it is cold … because of that people’s water heaters and heat strips tend to kick on once power is restored so we have to slowly energize feeders.

“Thank you for your patience.

“Also please note that there was a rumor on facebook that the power outage was due to a substation exploding and would be days to repair… this is NOT TRUE.

“Thankful for our City workers out there.”

Update: City efforts to reroute power form another substation have failed.

“When our crews added lines and customers’ power came back on, the power draw was too much and breakers began flipping,” the city said on its Facebook page. “We are removing those rerouted lines and are working to restore power where we can.”

Update: Officials are saying it may be 9 p.m. before power is restored. The New Bern Police Department is urging drivers to stay home. Once it gets dark, it is difficult for drivers to see police directing traffic at intersections.

If you need to run your car to recharge your mobile device, and if you are doing so by letting your vehicle idle at home, make sure it is not inside a closed garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.


An issue with Duke Energy is causing a power outage affecting more than 17,000 households in the New Bern area on Wednesday afternoon, with restoration expected in a couple of hours.

Duke Energy’s outage map online is showing just a handful of customers without power, but the city’s outage map is showing 17,633 customers without power as of 3:18 p.m.

WITN reported that Duke Energy had a vegetation crew they hired doing work along a transmission line when it was damaged.

Power went out between 2 and 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, and at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the city acknowledged the problem on its Facebook wall.

“We are aware of it and are working to identify the issue,” the city said. “Estimated restoration is 2-4 hours.”

Almost an hour later, the city updated its posting.

“We have just confirmed this is a Duke Energy issue. The city purchases power from Duke and there. Are transmission issues within that service. Estimated outage is still 2-4 hours at this point.”

A short time later, the city posted this: “We are told Duke has deployed resources to repair and restore services as soon as possible.”

The outage did not occur all at once, but instead spread throughout the city in stages.

Law enforcement rushed to important intersections to direct traffic, while at other intersections, motorists were left to remember their Driver Training lessons, some more successfully than others.

Craven County Schools sent out a telephone alert notifying parents that their children may be home later than usual due to traffic issues caused by the outage.

Area agencies and businesses shut down early, including Craven County Government and the Twin Rivers YMCA.

Shortly after 4 p.m., City Manager Mark Stephens issued this statement: “The city is looking at options to potentially reroute. Some power supply to bring some customers back into service, but this will also take some time to complete.”

This would not be 100 percent restoration, but could support some city customers, the statement said. Using that measure, the city was able to restore power to the James City area.

CarolinaEast Medical Center switched to its generators as soon as the power went out and was fully operational, the hospital said on its Twitter feed.

Posted in Duke Energy, Infrastructure, New Bern, Utilities

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