CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Duke Energy is now apologizing for the widespread rolling blackouts they intentionally activated across the Carolinas over the busy Christmas holiday period, leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

Duke Energy leaders explained that they were sorry for the actions that took place on Dec. 24. The company had previously said the blackouts were done to conserve energy protect the grid, however, many residents that lost power told Queen City News they were not given advance notice.

On the Friday before Christmas Eve and right in the thick of the arctic blast that included single-digit wind chill advisories, around 200,000 customers were in the dark, and that number went down to 40,000 by nightfall, but the cold temperatures remained.

The final ask made by Duke was to have customers conserve energy that following Sunday night.

“We are sorry for what our customers experienced,” CEO Julie Janson said Tuesday. “We regret not being able to provide customers as much advance notice as we would have liked, and acknowledge that the outages themselves lasted far longer than we first expected.”

“This is the first time in our company’s history that we had to implement rolling service disruptions, and although the majority of our power plants performed well in the storm, the outage process did not go as smoothly as we would have liked and we did not deliver the reliable performance that our customers expect,” said North Carolina President Kendal Bowman.

“This event reinforces the need to have reliability top of mind as we continue our clean energy transition,” South Carolina President Mike Callahan said. “We are committed to learning from this regional event and to improving our technical tools to help deal with unusual and severe weather. We regret we had to interrupt service to a portion of our customers, and appreciate the response to our request for conservation to keep the grid safe and operational.”

Governor Roy Cooper has asked Duke Energy for a full report on what went wrong over the weekend and any changes that will be made to the grid moving forward.