Schools Closings and Power Outages

Due to hazardous travel conditions (downed trees and power lines) and wide spread power outages that remain, two school districts remain closed Monday:

Orange County Schools (optional teacher work day)

Alamance Burlington Schools


Duke Energy and Piedmont Electric continue to work to restore power to the area. To see the outage make for Duke Energy, click here; for Piedmont Electric, click here.

Power Restored To Carrboro, Cause Of Fire Unknown

CARRBORO – More than 2,600 Piedmont Electric customers in and around Carrboro were without power Tuesday night, according to manager of communications Susan Cashion.

“We experienced a fire at our Westbrook substation, which is located in the Carrboro area off of Jones Ferry Road,” Cashion said. “The fire occurred at 10:25 last night. Crews worked through the night and replaced the equipment restoring power by 5:09 this morning.”

However, Cashion said when power was restored, crews had to respond to the area specifically serving the Autumn Wood Apartments west of Carrboro near the Food Lion, which went down due to the surge of electricity. That kept about 175 customers in the dark.

Cashion said the cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Power was fully restored to all customers before 8:00 a.m.

Cashion says if you ever experience an outage, you are asked to call 800-449-2667.

Fire Knocks Out Power For More Than 2000

Story originally posted February 5, 2013 at 12:24 a.m.

**UPDATE – As of 8:00 a.m., Piedmont’s website reported that power had been restored to all but 175 customers in Orange County.

**UPDATE** – As of 6:15 a.m., Piedmont’s website reported that power had been restored to all but 178 customers in Orange County.

**UPDATE** – As of 4:18 a.m., Piedmont’s website indicated that power still had not been restored – and that the number of outages had gone up to 2,448, including 2,406 in Orange County. All the outages are still concentrated around western Carrboro, including West NC-54, Jones Ferry Road, and the area around Carrboro High School.

ORANGE COUNTY – More than 1900 Piedmont Electric customers in southern Orange County lost power at around 10:40 Tuesday night.

According to Piedmont’s website, the outage affected customers in western Carrboro and around Jones Ferry Road. As of 12:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, 1,951 customers were without power, including 1,909 in Orange County.

Shortly after midnight, a Piedmont spokesperson told WCHL the outage was caused by a regulator fire at the Westbrook substation. Crews were on the scene to replace the regulator, but as of 12:20 a.m. it still wasn’t clear when power would be restored.

Carrboro Voices Frustration With Duke Energy Flat Rate Fees

CARRBORO – Mayor Mark Chilton says Duke Energy’s flat-rate fees are discouraging the town from installing high efficiency street lights in some areas of Carrboro.

“We pay Duke Power for our electrical bills for our street lights in Carrboro,” Chilton says. “The way that those are handled is by estimation of the amount of electricity used rather than metered, and Duke has a flat policy of charging a certain rate for street lights.”

Earlier this year, the Town intervened in the Duke Energy Carolinas rate case before the State Utilities Commission, which was taken successfully to the N.C. Supreme Court by Attorney General Roy Cooper. In August, Cooper filed again with the Utilities Commission to oppose the latest rate-hike request by Duke Energy.

Chilton and the Carrboro Board of Aldermen hosted a presentation by Piedmont Electric, which provides electric service to parts of Carrboro, about the possibility of using LED lights in Anderson Park, replacing the less efficient mercury vapor (MV) and high pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures.

“Here Piedmont Electric is being flexible and is working with us and is going to reward us with lower bills if we install these LED lights, using less electricity, where Duke Power is not offering us any other similar sort of deal,” Chilton says.

Chilton says that it is not advantageous for the Town to use energy-saving, cost-effective lights in Duke Energy’s territory.

“If we invest in LED technology, we will be using a lot less power. Duke’s rate structure needs to recognize that,” Chilton says. “They need to give us a break, in other words to charge a different rate for those of us who are using the super high efficiency LED lights.”

Piedmont Electric says it would replace some of the less efficient fixtures at no additional cost until a preliminary evaluation has been completed.

Duke Energy could not be reach for comment.