Empowering Western NC and Upstate SC with Solar Since 1995

The Scoop on Solar Policy Changes

On March 23, 2023 the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) issued an order to approve a rate change for solar customers in NC. This effects NC residents who wish to use the utility grid managed by Duke Energy and to use the grid for shorter term energy storage under a system known as Net Metering (NEM).

(Net meter has been in place since 2000. Customers whose solar panels produce more electricity than they immediately need receive ‘credits’ on their bills equal to whatever they pay for electricity.)

For NC homeowners who have already installed a solar system, net metering stays the same until 2027. Additionally, anyone who starts the process of going solar before July 1, 2023 will also receive full net-metering until 2027. Essentially, new solar customers need to receive an approved interconnection request by July 1, 2023 to be ‘grandfathered’ into the existing net metering structure AND have that solar system installed within one year of the approved interconnection application. Anyone with a solar system or with an approved interconnection application by July 1, 2023 will be considered a ‘legacy customer‘.

Starting January 1, 2027, legacy customers will move from the current net metering system to a ‘bridge rate’. This bridge rate will be applied to legacy customers for 15 years, beginning with the date they first went solar.

The bridge rate is an alternative to the default ‘time-of-use’ rate design that goes into effect for new solar customers after July 1, 2023. The bridge rate includes monthly netting at the applicable avoided cost rate (a fancy way of saying that Duke will credit you less for the excess power you produce) and includes the same ‘minimum monthly bill’ and ‘non-bypassable charge’ that are included with the new net metering policy. However, the bridge rate offers benefits to legacy customers regarding other costs. (Ask us about these and all other changes – we know the answers!)

The Scoop on Solar Policy Changes

All of these changes are certainly a bit complicated, so let’s boil it down to one question:


In a word, YES!

Here are the reasons why:

1.) Going solar gives you much more independence from the utility companies. Every watt your solar system produces is a watt that you do not have to pay the utility for. A knowledgeable solar company (such as Sundance!) can design your system to maximize that benefit.

2.) Utility companies raise their rates at least 3% every single year – and that is projected to increase even more in the future. Producing much of your electricity via your own solar system minimizes the impact of those rate increases.

3.) Legacy customers receive full net metering, the current policy, through the end of 2026. (Remember, a legacy customer is defined as anyone with a current solar system or an approved application for one by July 1, 2023.) This means you receive full credit for excess electricity your system produces for up to 3-plus years.

4.) Legacy customers receive the bridge rate that avoids some costs associated with time-of-use and grid-access fees. This bridge rate lasts for 15 years, retroactive to the start date of your solar system.

5.) Going solar now will give you until 2027 to gather data points to model which credit option will be best for you going forward under NEM 2.0

We realize this sounds complicated and confusing. Sundance Power Systems helped negotiate the bridge rate with Duke Energy, so we know what’s happening in detail. Let us guide you through your best options as these changes occur.

One thing is for sure, it is definitely time to OWN YOUR POWER!

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