Chamber Chat - Duke Energy

Feb 12

By Meg Moss

Duke Energy has had quite a presence here in Lee County over the past two weeks. First, Indira Everett, the district manager for Orange, Durham, Chatham and Lee Counties for Duke Energy presented the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award at the Chamber Annual Membership Banquet. This award was presented to David Spivey, owner of Jones Printing. In each of the communities they serve, Duke Energy works with the associated Chamber of Commerce to determine the person who embodies the spirit of the award. Spivey was noted for his integrity, stewardship, being inclusive of all people, taking initiative, and working as a team in the community.  According to Duke Energy, the purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding volunteer service and civic participation, encourage a culture of citizenship and service, and to compliment the efforts of individuals and organizations in our community striving to improve our quality of life.


Just a few days later, Everett presented “The Less Familiar Duke Energy Story” at the Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Lunch. During the lunch, as she spoke to the audience, and noted in an earlier article in The Herald, Everett shared that she is “hoping that all of you that I have partnerships will continue to reach out to me. We want you to know what we are doing in the community and we want you to help us with great ideas that we haven’t heard of so far….Duke Energy is only as strong as the communities we serve.” In Lee County, Duke Energy has 173 employees, and 90 retirees who live, work and play here.


Duke Energy has three focus areas for their philanthropic giving and investments. The first is education: Kindergarten through Career. Supporting education programs that emphasize science, technology, engineering and math, and early childhood literacy are critical focuses for Duke Energy. Workforce development initiatives, including higher education and job readiness programs also fall into this focus area. Building a diverse workforce for the future is key to community success.


The second focus area is Community Impact. They provide grants to nonprofit organizations and invest in philanthropic programs that encourage an appreciation of arts and culture. They also support capacity-building initiatives that strengthen the nonprofit community. This may include professional development for the nonprofit staff so that they have the knowledge and skills to help their organization fulfill their mission.


The third area of focus is the Environment. Duke Energy feels they have the ability, and the responsibility, to make a positive difference for their customers. According to Duke Energy, they are committed to environmental stewardship and support environment and wildlife programs that protect, improve or restore natural resources, particularly water and air.


Duke Energy also provides local community development grants. These include grants of less than $10,000 for grassroots nonprofit organizations whose programs and missions support one of Duke Energy’s three focus areas.


All of the above information, and more, can be found at And for those interested in applying for a grant, information can be obtained at


Duke Energy also has a Home Energy Improvement Program for those wanting to increase their energy efficiency. The program offers discounts and rebates for upgrading your HVAC, insulating and sealing your home, sealing your air ducts, upgrading your water heater and/or upgrading your pool pump. More information on these programs and others to help you save energy and money can be found at 

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