- Jan. 25, 2018
-- On Monday, Duke Energy announced the much anticipated details regarding its solar rebate program in North Carolina. The proposed $62 million rebate program follows months of negotiations between Duke Energy, the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, and solar installers after the passage of 2017's Competitive Energy Solutions of NC Law, otherwise known as House Bill 589. Bob Kingery, chief executive of Southern Energy Management located in Raleigh, says that Duke Energy worked well with solar installers and industry associations to produce a program that provides what he calls a "kick start" for solar in the state. This is supported by Duke Energy's projection that this program "will increase North Carolina's private solar market by 200 percent over the next five years."
Under the program, residential customers will receive a rebate of 60 cents per watt for solar systems sized at 10 kilowatts (kW) or less. The average system size for a home is 8 kW in North Carolina, meaning the average homeowner can expect to save $4,800 on a new solar system through this program. It is also advantageous for nonresidential customers and nonprofits such as schools and churches. Nonresidential customers are eligible for 50 cents per watt whereas nonprofits can receive an enhanced rebate of 75 cents per watt for 100 kW or less.
While the program still awaits approval by the Utilities Commission, the program also signals continued and long term collaboration between Duke Energy and the solar industry. Duke Energy partakes in net metering, where customers with solar systems can send solar-generated electricity into the grid to receive credit, which is a solar-friendly practice that faces renewal every year from Duke Energy. This program indicates that Duke Energy is behind the solar industry and will continue to partake in solar-friendly practices for at least the next five years. "Duke Energy was receptive to input and, as a result, created a strong program that is going to bolster the solar industry in North Carolina," Bob Kingery commented. "By backing this industry that is already rapidly developing in the state, we are going to see more jobs and more growth all while producing clean energy. This wouldn't be possible without their receptivity and commitment to developing a strong program."
Southern Energy Management, headquartered in Morrisville, NC, is the Southeast's rooftop solar and building performance expert. Founded in 2001, they have worked for more than a decade to improve the way people -- homeowners, businesses, builders, and developers -- create, consume, and conserve energy. For more information, visit www.southern-energy.com