Duke Energy apologizes to customers; working around the clock to fix issues

A squirrel and cold weather are causing several power outages for Duke Energy, most notably this past Monday Nov. 11th.

Posted: Nov 13, 2019 10:42 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2019 10:45 PM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- A squirrel and cold weather are causing several power outages for Duke Energy, most notably this past Monday Nov. 11th.

More than 3,000 homes were left without power for a few hours.

The power was restored to homes by midnight Monday.

Duke said it will continue to have issues with its power grid due to a West Lafayette substation malfunction.

A squirrel got caught up in the substation and the cold weather prolonged the repairs.

The goal is to have it fixed by the end of the year.

With freezing temperatures here to stay the demand for power increases.

Dan Rhodes is the spokesperson for Duke Energy in Greater Lafayette. He said the company is working around the clock to fix all power issues.

"Our lineman are on call 24 hours a day and we also have predictive weather reports that come out so we can prepare and bring in extra workers if we anticipate problems," said Rhodes.

Duke has issued an apology to customers and Rhodes said he understands customer frustration.

He said the company is working on improving reliability, decommssioning coal plants and providing cleaner energy, but as part of those initiatives, Duke also said its rates may go up in July of 2020.

As we reported last week, a state regulator recommended against a rate increase of 15 percent recently.

But the company said it's renewing its request with more documentation.

The new effort is expected to result in a hike of 15 percent in 2020 and 2 percent in 2021, but the increase would vary among consumers.

This all depends on approval from the office of utility consumer counselor.

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