RALEIGH — Most people take electricity for granted. When we flick the light switch, we expect the lights to come on. Power officials say Triangle residents are not in danger of power shortages, but they should do their part to conserve energy.
North Carolinians are using more electricity than ever before.
says their customer base grew last year by 35,000. All of those people are demanding more power for their homes and businesses.
"Today, they might have four TVs. They might have two computers. They have a lot more appliances than people have ever used before and that requires more electricity," says CP&L spokesman Aaron Perlut.
The rolling blackouts in California are a result of the power companies not being able to keep up with the increased demand. In North Carolina, power officials say summer is their busiest time of the year.
CP&L says the Triangle is not in danger of experiencing rolling blackouts because officials have continued to build power plants and added new substations, but they do have a plan if we get into an emergency situation. Step one is to ask to customers to voluntarily reduce their power usage. Next, power officials can shut down power to their largest commercial clients -- they have a provision written into their contracts.
The third step is reducing the voltage going into your home or business by 5 percent. They say the effects would be minimal. Rolling blackouts are the next option, followed by a full system shutdown.
The Triangle area has never experienced rolling blackouts or a full system shut down, but officials say it is up to residents to make sure that trend continues.
"Just because we have ample supplies of electricity doesn't give us a license to waste it," Perlut says.
Here are a few ways you can conserve energy: