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Duke Energy Progress Brings Low-Income Energy-Saving Program to Wilmington

Low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, insulated water heaters, new air filters, caulking and door sweeps can all help Duke customers cut their energy bills.

Just as temperatures are plummeting, Duke Energy Progress is launching a free energy-saver program to benefit low-income families in Wilmington’s Brooklyn neighborhood. This week, Duke technicians begin a three-month process of visiting 1,200 homes to perform an “energy makeover.” WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that program residents can expect to save about $95 a year.

This neighborhood—spanning from Market to Bess, and Fourth to Eleventh Streets—is one of five areas in the Carolinas to get made-over this year, and was selected for its income demographics and size. Mayor Bill Saffo, New Hanover county commissioner Jonathan Barfield and representatives from county social services welcomed the Duke techs to town at an evening workshop last Thursday at DC Virgo. Evans Taylor, manager of the Neighborhood Energy Savers program, walked about sixty neighborhood residents through energy-saving measures they’ll soon be using--such as faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads, door sweeps and pipe insulation.

"These things are not only things that will happen immediately, but some of them can have a long-term effect. And part of our emphasis is on the behavior change aspect of it; recognizing what’s causing the energy bill to be high, and what they can do from a behavior standpoint to maybe lower it."

During each visit, one technician will engage the occupant in energy-saving education, while another physically makes over the home. The program is funded through a small monthly charge on all Duke Energy Progress customers’ bills.