Duke Energy has submitted a petition to the NC Utilities Commission proposing a massive overhaul of “net metering,” the policy that allows solar homeowners to receive fair compensation for excess solar power they share with the Duke grid. Fifty-six nonprofit organizations are opposing the plan, which they say harms all customers – especially low-income customers – and discourages homeowners from installing solar at the very time that the climate crisis and state law demand rapid decarbonization of the electricity supply. These groups, organized as Save NC Solar, will gather at Duke’s former headquarters as the corporation holds its shareholder meeting virtually.
WHEN: Thursday, May 5, 12:30-2pm
WHERE: 550 S. Tryon St, Charlotte, NC
WHAT: Picket, Puppets, Info-Sharing
Seventeen rooftop solar companies are also opposing Duke’s plan, saying in a letter to Governor Roy Cooper that it would reduce the value of a solar customer’s investment by 25-35%.
Duke Energy’s petition is based on the corporation’s highly contested claim that solar customers cost the grid more than they contribute. A 2017 law requires a full cost-benefit study of rooftop solar before net metering rules are changed. Such studies elsewhere have shown solar to provide a net positive benefit to the grid, and no North Carolina study has been done.
Attorney General Josh Stein has advised that the Commission put the petition on hold until such a study can be completed later this year. Stein argues this cannot reasonably be done until after the Commission decides what role rooftop solar should play in the state’s carbon plan, which is now being developed by the Commission pursuant to last year’s energy bill, HB951.