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Duke Energy Reaches Deal With Renewable Organizations to Modernize Rooftop Solar Policy in North Carolina

Dec. 1, 2021
Duke Energy has encouraged private solar ownership over the past three years with its US$62 million solar rebate program.

Duke Energy has filed an agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) that will align solar adopter compensation to utility system benefits and create long-term stability for the residential solar industry in North Carolina. See filing.

The net metering agreement was crafted by Duke Energy and the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Vote Solar and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Sunrun Inc. and the Solar Energy Industries Association. It must be approved by the NCUC.

“Duke Energy is committed to finding collaborative paths forward to help with the clean-energy transition and carbon-reduction goals in the Carolinas.”  said Stephen De May, president, Duke Energy’s North Carolina. “This deal ensures fair and reasonable treatment for all customers whether they choose to install solar or not.”

Duke Energy has encouraged private solar ownership over the past three years with its US$62 million solar rebate program, which is expected to continue into 2023. Currently, 24,000 North Carolina customers have private solar systems compared to 6000 at the beginning of 2018.

“The agreement modernizes rooftop solar economics and unlocks benefits for all customers,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s vice president of strategic solutions. “Net metering has been a contentious issue around the nation, but our stakeholder partners worked together to craft a fair solution that brings financial sustainability to rooftop solar in North Carolina.”

The agreement follows a similar net metering agreement in South Carolina from September 2020.

The filing:

  • Allows for new net metering tariffs to go into effect for customers submitting applications on or after Jan. 1, 2023. 
  • Will create innovative pricing and incentives for residential solar customers. 
  • Features rate design mechanisms to properly collect costs of the grid infrastructure needed to serve solar customers. 
  • Will include cutting-edge retail rates that vary based on the time of day and when the utility is experiencing peak demand.

“This program pushes forward progress in North Carolina’s clean energy economy. Not only does it advance the residential solar sector, it also provides a framework and agreement to work collaboratively on the next generation of nonresidential net metering. This agreement establishes new price signals and opportunities for homeowners to incorporate innovative technologies with solar — smart thermostats, battery storage and more.”, said Peter Ledford, general counsel and director of policy at North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

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