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CP&L May Implement Rotating Power Outages

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RALEIGH — The scorching weather probably has you working your air conditioner overtime, and with everyone else doing the same, it is pushing power companies to the limit.

In fact, if we do not start conserving electricity, everyone may be left in the dark. CP&L is asking its customers to curtail energy use before it has to begin power blackouts.

If CP&L were to implement rotating power outages, people would be without power for 30 to 60 minutes at a time.

Like an unwelcomed yearly guest, nature's heat appears to be settling in for a summer spell.

"It's probably about 88 in the house," says David Becchetti, who decided to stay outdoors since he is doing his part to conserve energy.

"Currently at the moment, I have my air conditioning off and I'm not running the stereo, but I usually am at this point in time," Becchetti said.

At Police Headquarters in Raleigh, excess lights were turned off, air conditioning use was cut in half and people walked instead of taking the elevators. However, energy conservation for police transcends the office walls.

"You have alarms, you have security systems and other things powered by electricity that would be more than an inconvenience, but particularly hazardous, if they went down," says Capt. Dennis Poteat with the Raleigh Police Department.

It is becoming a summer of extremes -- extreme temperatures and extreme measures. If energy usage exceeds CP&L's power supply, rotating power outages will remain an option.

"We would cut off folks between 30 to 60 minutes in one area, then restore them," says Mike Hughes with CP&L. "Then, shut service off to another area for a similar amount of time until we're out of the heat of the day."

Peak usage times are in the early morning hours and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

In addition to setting your thermostat on the highest comfortable setting, you can help conserve energy by using the bathroom exhaust fan while bathing, minimizing hot water usage, and waiting to use the dishwasher, washing machine or dryer until after 8 p.m.

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Ken Smith, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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