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People behind the power: What to know about the remarkable role of Duke Energy lineworkers

  • On April 18, Duke Energy celebrates the men and women who keep the lights on for customers every day

  • Lineworkers play a critical role in the clean energy transition and building the grid of the future

  • Over the past seven years, Duke Energy and its Foundation have invested nearly $4 million to strengthen its lineworker talent pipeline

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- When the lights go out – whether it is from severe weather, vehicle accidents or animal interference – lineworkers respond by getting the lights on for our customers and communities.

(PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)
(PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

On April 18, Duke Energy recognizes National Lineworker Appreciation Day and the work of these vital employees, who ensure customers and communities have safe, reliable power, and play a key role in enabling the infrastructure that will drive our energy future.

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"Our line, substation and relay technicians are invaluable teammates who are among the first to respond in the aftermath of storms and large-scale weather events that can impact thousands, often making the scene safe for other first responders," said Scott Batson, chief power grid officer at Duke Energy. "Safely powering the communities we serve is our No. 1 job and it could not be accomplished without the extraordinary commitments of these teams."

Just another day on the job

For these thousands of Duke Energy lineworkers – from transmission technicians working on high-voltage transmission lines that carry electricity from power plants to distribution technicians working on the lines that carry power to homes and businesses – no matter the circumstances, it's just another day on the job.

Here are a few things to know about this gutsy group and their unique role:

  • Extreme elements come with the work environment. Lineworkers frequently face challenging conditions, including storms, oppressive heat, bitterly cold temperatures and flooding.

  • The job is elevated. Line work frequently requires work in challenging weather conditions on transmission towers at heights of up to 120 feet, while attached to a 40-foot pole, or from an elevated bucket truck – always with strict safety precautions in place.

  • They get physical. Line work is an outdoor, hands-on, physical role. Besides working safely with high voltage, the steel-toe boots, hooks for scaling poles, and climbing belts lineworkers use or wear can weigh up to 30 pounds each.

  • Commitment is contagious. Lineworkers' dedication to their jobs, passion for their craft, continued learning and eternal support of one another on and off the job makes a difference in the lives of customers who depend on reliable power.

  • Family and community are priorities. Lineworkers often live close to and work in their own communities – from larger cities to more rural towns – and Duke Energy continues to hire across the range of geographic areas it serves.

  • Conversing in code is customary. Lineworkers have their own lingo – nicknames for tools and tasks have been passed down from one generation of lineworkers to the next.

  • Long-term learning improves expertise. Lineworkers are highly skilled professionals who undergo rigorous training to work with electricity safely and efficiently. Their extensive progression of training over several years includes written and field tests that must be successfully completed to demonstrate expertise and job knowledge.

  • Safety is foundational. Line teams prioritize safety above everything else – mitigating hazards whenever possible and always watching out for the safety of those around them.

Guarding the future grid

Beyond keeping the lights on, lineworkers also play a key role in power grid improvement projects that are helping modernize and strengthen Duke Energy's system. This includes protection against storms and other impacts, making the grid more reliable and resilient, as well as integrating new and cleaner energy technologies.

"The grid is a massive, complex system that works nonstop to provide reliable power to our customers. Our transmission and distribution line, substation and relay technicians have a fundamental role in making sure it is prepared to support the growth we are seeing in our regions and to enabling the addition of more renewables to our system at an ambitious pace," said Batson. "This work can include upgrading lines and poles, undergrounding outage-prone lines where data indicates it is prudent to do so, and enhancing grid reliability through the integration of smart, self-healing technology – which saved more than 1.5 million customer interruptions and avoided more than 3.5 million hours of customer outage time in 2023."

Hiring and developing craft and skilled talent is critical to address the growing energy needs of customers and to continue to make grid upgrades for the future. The company continues to hire talent and works closely with community colleges across its company footprint to recruit diverse, skilled candidates.

"It's important to me to be able to serve my community by building and maintaining a resilient power grid to help people with their daily needs and quality of life," said Miles Bell, journeyman lineworker with Duke Energy's Spartanburg Operations Center. "This is an industry and career field that is constantly evolving and is rewarding in so many ways."

Over the past seven years, Duke Energy and its Foundation have provided nearly $4 million in funding to support lineworker programs in states where the company operates.

Thank a lineworker on social media

National Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 18, but throughout the week Duke Energy will be sharing special stories in appreciation of the essential workers who power our lives on the social platform X at @DukeEnergy and Facebook at facebook.com/DukeEnergy. To honor lineworkers and their families on social media on National Lineworker Appreciation Day, please use the hashtag #ThankALineworker.

Lineworker b-roll and photography:
Lineworkers brighten our communities
Multimedia Gallery | Duke Energy | News Center (duke-energy.com)

Lineworker soundbites:
Florida
Carolinas
Indiana

Duke Energy
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. The company's electric utilities serve 8.4 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 54,800 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.7 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.

Duke Energy is executing an ambitious clean energy transition, keeping reliability, affordability and accessibility at the forefront as the company works toward net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company is investing in major electric grid upgrades and cleaner generation, including expanded energy storage, renewables, natural gas and advanced nuclear.

More information is available at duke-energy.com and the Duke Energy News Center. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook, and visit illumination for stories about the people and innovations powering our energy transition.

Contact: Logan Kureczka
24-Hour: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_LoganK 

 

Cision
Cision

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SOURCE Duke Energy