Duke Energy Solar Rebate

consumer information about this NC utility incentive


How do I qualify for the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress North Carolina solar rebate?

According to the ruling by the North Carolina Utilities Commission that granted approval for the program, these are the requirements:

  • Rebate program promotional graphic Duke Energy shared on July 9, 2018

    The Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress Solar Rebate program requires that the bidirectional solar energy meter be installed on or after January 1, 2018. The customer or installer must have the project Interconnect number in order to apply

  • Only Duke Energy Carolinas or Duke Energy Progress customers living in North Carolina may apply
  • For those customers whose bidirectional meter is installed in a given year of the program, for example in 2020 for the 2020 year of the rebate, you’ll be able to be eligible and will need to submit your rebate application (Unfamiliar with net energy metering? See below. Or: Register with us and we’ll go over it with you!)

Duke Energy announced further details on June 19, 2018:

  • To apply for the rebate, there is no printed application, rather an application will be provided online with 6 short steps. The customer or installer may fill in the application – and if the installer fills it out, the customer will be prompted by email to submit an acknowledgement.
  • Commercial projects apply with their Unique ID rather than the Interconnect Number that residential projects use. Businesses can apply for the rebate separately for multiple solar locations on different accounts, and for residential buildings only the homeowner can apply to receive the rebate.
  • Rebate funds may run low in any given year of the 5-year program. There’s no real-time tracker of remaining capacity, but on the first Friday of every month Duke Energy will publish totals by customer class and jurisdiction.
  • To be eligible for the rebate in 2020, which opens on January 1, 2020 unless we hear otherwise from Duke Energy, the program administrator, we understand the customer will need to get their interconnect application sent within the last 90 days of 2019, that is within 90 days of the date when the 2020 program will be opening. Mid-October 2019 would be a perfect time, by our count.
  • Your ability to reserve rebate value is dependent on you receiving an interconnect number for your solar project from Duke Energy. There is a one-year time limit in which your system must then be installed and turned on in order to trigger the rebate payout from Duke Energy under the program.

How Can I Apply for the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress N.C. Solar Rebate?

Most solar installers are handling the application process for their customers. You get the peace of mind knowing that someone is keeping tabs on your pending rebate and notifying you about progress.

Note: No one can guarantee whether you will receive a rebate payment. For budgeting purposes we cannot recommend that you count on receiving the rebate, as it is hard to know how many applications will be submitted before yours.

When Will the Rebate End? How Long is it Available?

The Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress North Carolina solar rebate programs are not yet open for applications. They provide for at least 5 MegaWatts of residential installations per utility company during the first year. Under the proposed program, rebate claims will be reviewed (and eligible applicants will be sent checks) according to the date their bi-directional meter is installed and potentially according to when their paperwork was received. We expect there’s a benefit to acting early in the year, before program funds are at risk of running out.

Rebate funds for another 10 MegaWatts of residential solar (between the two utilities) will open up January 1, 2020, and so forth each year until 2022.

More consumer information is available via the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association’s blog.

Is My Home or Business Good For Solar?

The best homes and businesses for installing solar have these characteristics:

  • Roof sections that face south, or close to south, that are available for laying out the solar arrays. This will provide the greatest energy production.
  • If your roof is not south facing, solar panels can be mounted on the ground near the home in a racking system. This is more common in rural homes, farms and large businesses.
  • Minimal shading from adjacent buildings or tall trees.
  • A roof about 15 years old or younger, for rooftop installations.
  • Electric bills that you’d like to reduce.
  • There’s an advantage to remaining in your home for several years if you can once you go solar, to reap the benefit of owning your energy system. However, when you do move solar can increase the value of your home and in many cases help the home sell faster.

These factors will create the greatest monthly savings.

For both businesses and residents, there is now a range of financing options to help put solar within your reach.

If anything on this page didn’t make sense, or if you have questions, a quick phone call with a solar professional can help you make sense of your solar potential. Please see our list of recommended installers for your area.

How Will the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress N.C. Solar Rebate Program Work?

For the N.C. Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress solar rebate in 2018, complete details on how it will be administered are not yet available. Such specifics are expected to come out prior to the early July 2018 launch.

Based on how prior programs worked and details contained in the NCUC order approving this incentive, rebate applicants should expect:

  • Most solar installers will handle your rebate application for you, some require a small fee to cover the time it takes submitting and tracking the status of your pending rebate.
  • It may take 6 months or more for the program to begin paying out rebate funds to applicants.
  • The rebate payout is expected to be in the form of a check to the recipient, and is therefore taxable as income.
  • The residential rebate is 60 cents per Watt AC of solar capacity, up to 10 kiloWatts, for Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress.
  • Larger systems may take the rebate up to $6,000, which is 60 cents per Watt on 10,000 Watts AC.
  • If you know your solar energy system size in DC (direct current) rather than AC (alternating current) either your inverter size will be used or a simple conversion may need to be performed to determine your AC capacity for purposes of the rebate value. Your installer may check with the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress solar energy division in order to confirm this is computed correctly.

What is Net Energy Metering?

Net energy metering is the concept that a solar customer gets credit for their solar power, when they have more than they need. Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress issues a bidirectional meter for the home, a meter that spins both ways. You can think of this as the grid acting a little like a battery.

When you’re using power from the grid, like all customers do, it runs forward. Anytime you’re producing more solar energy from your solar than you need in your home, the excess runs out onto the grid. Those electrons go to meet your neighbors’ energy needs, which strengthens the grid and is beneficial for reliability, and the customer gets bill credit for that excess power.

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