UPDATE: Rolling Blackouts Currently Ending; Crews Continue Working on Outages Due to Storm Damage

LENOIR, NC (December 24, 2022) — Duke Energy has ended their requirement this morning for load curtailment, which affected Blue Ridge Energy members and others across the state with rolling blackouts to ensure power stability across North Carolina.

However, depending on continued extreme cold temperatures and power demand across the state, it may be necessary for Duke Energy to require utilities across the state to implement load curtailment again this evening or tomorrow.

Utilities across the state and region were forced to implement rolling blackouts to reduce use of electricity due to Duke Energy’s generation capacity emergency caused by the extreme cold. 

These blackouts occurred on a rolling basis, affecting members across all of Blue Ridge Energy’s service area for one hour at a time.  

Failure for utilities to comply with Duke Energy’s requirement to reduce power demand could have led to instability on the regional power grid and longer power disruptions. 

“We appreciate member’s cooperation in reducing electricity usage and enduring the hour-long rolling black outs so that we can join with Duke and other utilities across the state to ensure reliable electricity for everyone,” said Alan Merck, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Ridge Energy. “Locally and across the state, we are experiencing record cold temperatures, which is also resulting in the highest load or demand for electricity we’ve seen on our system and across the state,” Merck added. “Additionally, it’s Christmas Eve when more people are at home, cooking, entertaining and requiring more power. Our goal is to help everyone stay warm and have the electricity needed for the holiday and their daily needs,” he added.

Line technicians continue working on outages occurring due to high winds and downed trees on power lines from severe weather affecting our area the past 24 hours. An overview of current outages are: Caldwell District: 42 members across the county are without power due to system damage in nine areas; Watauga District: 527 members across the county are without power due to damage in 37 locations; Ashe County: 223 members are without power due to damage in 19 locations; and Alleghany District: 497 members are without power due to damage in 11 locations.

Members who are currently experiencing an outage are advised to report it to Blue Ridge Energy in one of the following ways:

  • Call 1-800-448-2383
  • By using the Blue Ridge Energy mobile app
  • By text when signed up for outage texting (to sign up: be sure your mobile number is listed on your account and text START to 70216. Then, you can text OUT to 70216 anytime you have an outage)

For outage status at any time:

Blue Ridge Energy is a member–owned electric cooperative providing power to some 78,000 consumers in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Alexander and Avery counties. For more information, visit www.blueridgeenergy.com or the cooperative’s social media on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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