CHARLOTTE – Over the past few days, customers served by various Duke Energy companies have set all-time records for winter power use.

During the extreme weather event, the company asked for and received conservation from commercial, industrial and residential customers to help ease the burden on the utility system.

Duke Energy offered the following tips:

• To help save energy and money, select the lowest comfortable setting on your thermostat when home and bump the thermostat down a degree or two when leaving home.

• Set the ceiling fans to operate in a clockwise direction, which pushes warm air back down into the room.

• Leave drapes or blinds open to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house.

• Inefficient heating can also add to monthly power bills during colder temperatures.

• Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.

“Despite the challenges of the extremely cold weather, our system has responded well – especially since we have broken usage marks that have stood for as long as five years,” said Nelson Peeler, vice president of system operations.

For Duke Energy Carolinas, a new winter usage peak of 20,246 megawatt-hours was set Jan. 7 in the hour ending at 8 a.m. That exceeded the previous winter record of 18,985 megawatt-hours set on Dec. 15, 2010.

For Duke Energy Progress, a new winter usage peak of 14,190 megawatt-hours was set Tuesday in the hour ending at 8 a.m. That exceeded the previous winter record of 13,884 megawatt-hours set on Jan. 11, 2010.