CP&L Surge Suppressors Protect Home Appliances and Electronics From Lightning

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Progress Energy, Inc.

    RALEIGH, N.C., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- With a single strike, lightning
 carries enough electricity to light and cool an indoor sports arena, and
 generates temperatures three times hotter those found on the surface of the
 sun.
     To say the same lightning bolt, then, can blow the smithereens out of your
 home computer or microwave oven is an understatement, said Rudy J. Masi, power
 quality consultant in Energy Services at Progress Energy, the parent company
 of CP&L.
     "Each year in the United States, lightning causes about $1 billion in
 property damage," he said.  "While most people associate lightning with house
 fires, lightning doesn't have to hit a house to damage it.  A strike nearby
 can set off a powerful electrical surge that severely damages any appliances
 plugged in at the time."
     North Carolina ranks sixth in the nation in the number of lightning
 strikes.  A homeowner might think that unplugging appliances when they aren't
 in use might solve potential problems, but in practice, this doesn't work,
 Masi said.
     "Lightning is completely unpredictable," he said.  "It's not like you can
 hear an approaching thunderstorm and then unplug all your appliances to avoid
 surge damage.  If you hear thunder, it may be too late.  Lightning can - and
 does - strike homes from miles away without any warning at all."
     A better solution, Masi said, is to apply staged, or layered, surge
 protection by equipping one's home with devices at the outside meter and
 inside electrical outlets.
     CP&L, a Progress Energy company, will install a surge protector on the
 electric meter outside a customer's home.  The protector "re-routes" dangerous
 lightning current so that it travels harmlessly into the ground instead of
 through home wiring.  The cost is a one-time charge of $34.95 for
 installation, plus $5.95 a month for maintenance. The unit comes with a
 manufacturer's warranty.
    "The meter-based surge protector acts as a critical first line of defense
 to protect home appliances from lightning damage," Masi said.
     Masi also recommends that homeowners use plug-in surge suppressors with
 electronic devices such as computers and VCRs.  While such devices are sold at
 retail stores, he said, buyers can't tell how well they are constructed,
 whether they are safe or how effectively they will perform in a thunderstorm.
 Plug-in surge protectors sold by CP&L come with a manufacturer's warranty.
     Used together, meter-based and plug-in surge protectors offer homeowners
 the safest and best protection against lightning damage, Masi said.
     "Even good plug-in surge protectors can fail when a surge beyond their
 limited capacity occurs," he said.  "That's why the best option is to install
 a meter-based suppressor to reduce the greatest portion of the surge flowing
 to downstream appliances and, thus, protect plug-in suppressors.  If only
 plug-in suppressors are in use when a house receives a substantial surge, they
 won't adequately stop the surge from damaging equipment."
     CP&L's plug-in surge suppressors range in cost from $49 to $85.
     "When you consider the investment you've already made in a computer,
 modem, VCR, fax machine, DVD player or wide-screen TV, $49 to $85 is a small
 price to pay to protect them," Masi said.
     People buying plug-in surge suppressors at retail stores should read
 packages carefully to make sure they will protect electrical equipment, Masi
 added.
     "Many power strips are packaged to look like surge protectors when they're
 really just glorified extension cords," Masi said.  "As a rule of thumb, the
 more you pay for a surge suppressor, the more protection it will offer you."
     Masi added that CP&L fully tests all products it offers customers for both
 safety and performance.
     "Purchasing surge protection products from CP&L affords our customers
 peace of mind, knowing that they have, indeed, bought the top performing and
 safest products available today," Masi said.
     CP&L customers interested in learning more about meter-based or plug-in
 surge protectors can call (800) 359-7595 or visit our Web site at
 www.cplc.com.
     Progress Energy (NYSE:   PGN) is a Fortune 500 diversified holding company
 headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., with more than 16,000 employees, 19,000
 megawatts of generation capacity and $7 billion in annual revenues.  Progress
 Energy's diverse portfolio includes two major electric utility companies, CP&L
 and Florida Power; companies that provide natural gas, energy services and
 broadband capacity, NCNG, SRS and Progress Telecom; and a new organization,
 Energy Ventures, which manages wholesale energy marketing and trading,
 merchant generation and fuel properties.  Together, the companies serve 2.8
 million customers throughout the Southeast.  For more information about
 Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at:
 http://www.progress-energy.com.
 
 

SOURCE Progress Energy, Inc.
    RALEIGH, N.C., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- With a single strike, lightning
 carries enough electricity to light and cool an indoor sports arena, and
 generates temperatures three times hotter those found on the surface of the
 sun.
     To say the same lightning bolt, then, can blow the smithereens out of your
 home computer or microwave oven is an understatement, said Rudy J. Masi, power
 quality consultant in Energy Services at Progress Energy, the parent company
 of CP&L.
     "Each year in the United States, lightning causes about $1 billion in
 property damage," he said.  "While most people associate lightning with house
 fires, lightning doesn't have to hit a house to damage it.  A strike nearby
 can set off a powerful electrical surge that severely damages any appliances
 plugged in at the time."
     North Carolina ranks sixth in the nation in the number of lightning
 strikes.  A homeowner might think that unplugging appliances when they aren't
 in use might solve potential problems, but in practice, this doesn't work,
 Masi said.
     "Lightning is completely unpredictable," he said.  "It's not like you can
 hear an approaching thunderstorm and then unplug all your appliances to avoid
 surge damage.  If you hear thunder, it may be too late.  Lightning can - and
 does - strike homes from miles away without any warning at all."
     A better solution, Masi said, is to apply staged, or layered, surge
 protection by equipping one's home with devices at the outside meter and
 inside electrical outlets.
     CP&L, a Progress Energy company, will install a surge protector on the
 electric meter outside a customer's home.  The protector "re-routes" dangerous
 lightning current so that it travels harmlessly into the ground instead of
 through home wiring.  The cost is a one-time charge of $34.95 for
 installation, plus $5.95 a month for maintenance. The unit comes with a
 manufacturer's warranty.
    "The meter-based surge protector acts as a critical first line of defense
 to protect home appliances from lightning damage," Masi said.
     Masi also recommends that homeowners use plug-in surge suppressors with
 electronic devices such as computers and VCRs.  While such devices are sold at
 retail stores, he said, buyers can't tell how well they are constructed,
 whether they are safe or how effectively they will perform in a thunderstorm.
 Plug-in surge protectors sold by CP&L come with a manufacturer's warranty.
     Used together, meter-based and plug-in surge protectors offer homeowners
 the safest and best protection against lightning damage, Masi said.
     "Even good plug-in surge protectors can fail when a surge beyond their
 limited capacity occurs," he said.  "That's why the best option is to install
 a meter-based suppressor to reduce the greatest portion of the surge flowing
 to downstream appliances and, thus, protect plug-in suppressors.  If only
 plug-in suppressors are in use when a house receives a substantial surge, they
 won't adequately stop the surge from damaging equipment."
     CP&L's plug-in surge suppressors range in cost from $49 to $85.
     "When you consider the investment you've already made in a computer,
 modem, VCR, fax machine, DVD player or wide-screen TV, $49 to $85 is a small
 price to pay to protect them," Masi said.
     People buying plug-in surge suppressors at retail stores should read
 packages carefully to make sure they will protect electrical equipment, Masi
 added.
     "Many power strips are packaged to look like surge protectors when they're
 really just glorified extension cords," Masi said.  "As a rule of thumb, the
 more you pay for a surge suppressor, the more protection it will offer you."
     Masi added that CP&L fully tests all products it offers customers for both
 safety and performance.
     "Purchasing surge protection products from CP&L affords our customers
 peace of mind, knowing that they have, indeed, bought the top performing and
 safest products available today," Masi said.
     CP&L customers interested in learning more about meter-based or plug-in
 surge protectors can call (800) 359-7595 or visit our Web site at
 www.cplc.com.
     Progress Energy (NYSE:   PGN) is a Fortune 500 diversified holding company
 headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., with more than 16,000 employees, 19,000
 megawatts of generation capacity and $7 billion in annual revenues.  Progress
 Energy's diverse portfolio includes two major electric utility companies, CP&L
 and Florida Power; companies that provide natural gas, energy services and
 broadband capacity, NCNG, SRS and Progress Telecom; and a new organization,
 Energy Ventures, which manages wholesale energy marketing and trading,
 merchant generation and fuel properties.  Together, the companies serve 2.8
 million customers throughout the Southeast.  For more information about
 Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at:
 http://www.progress-energy.com.
 
 SOURCE  Progress Energy, Inc.