On Monday, January 22, Duke Energy announced long-awaited details of its much anticipated solar rebate program upon its filing with the NC Utilities Commission for approval. This comes after months of negotiations following the passing of House Bill 589, the Competitive Energy Solutions for NC law, in July of 2017 by Governor Cooper.
As stated in our press release, the program as it was filed is stronger as the result of a collaborative effort and negotiations between Duke, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, and leaders from four companies from across the state representing the customer-owned rooftop solar industry, including Sundance’s founder Dave Hollister.
The significance of this rebate program is that it supports and encourages private ownership and self-generation of clean energy. “From the perspective of energy democracy, when individuals and businesses have the opportunity to invest in solar it strengthens their ability to benefit from this technology, creating a more robust and stable economic future and offering a solution to the externalized social and environmental costs of traditional dirty energy sources. It transforms our dependency on a centralized power structure into personal empowerment, which is the foundation of our democratic system,” stated Hollister in response to the program.
While the terms of the rebate are still subject to final approval by the Utilities Commission, it should be noted that Duke was responsive to some of the input from the customer-owned industry, resulting in a program that better serves NC customers. Duke expects the $62 million rebate program to increase North Carolina’s private solar market by 200 percent over the next five years, with savings potential of up to $6,000 for a residential installation, $50,000 for commercial investments, and $75,000 for nonprofit projects.
Here are the details from Duke Energy’s Proposed Program:
- Residential customers will be eligible for a rebate of 60 cents per watt up to 10 kW of solar energy installed.
- Commercial customers will be eligible for 50 cents per watt up to 100 kW of solar energy installed.
- Nonprofit customers will be eligible for 75 cents per watt up to 100 kW of solar energy installed.
- Participation under the program is on a first-come-first-served basis for customers who have installed solar panels and a bi-directional meter on their property on or after January 1, 2018.
- After their system is installed, customers must complete and submit a Solar Rebate Program Application to the utility within 90 days.
For more details as announced by Duke Energy, read their press release.