Duke Energy’s New Solar Rebate for North Carolina
Introducing – PowerPair – Duke Energy’s newest solar plus battery storage incentive coming this Spring of 2024. Joining the likes of Batman + Robin, Bert + Ernie, and Thelma + Louise, in the ranks of history’s most dynamic duos, PowerPair brings together the forces of solar power + battery storage for home energy security with a side arc of extra savings.
North Carolina’s Solar Rebate Explained
If you’ve been following the solar industry in North Carolina, you probably remember the Duke Energy Solar Rebate, circa 2018-2023, which was a result of House Bill 589. This was a (highly competitive) one-time rebate available to NC homes, businesses, and nonprofits serviced by Duke Energy. After $62 million in Duke Rebate funding was awarded across North Carolina, the NC Solar Rebate concluded in January 2023 with no plans for a resurrection.
Enter a new solar hero – Duke Energy’s 2024 PowerPair Rebate. This solar incentive was established by a requirement from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) for Duke Energy to test the impact of distributed solar and battery storage on stabilizing North Carolina’s electric grid, while reducing the need for peak power plant capacity. Recently approved on January 11, 2024, the PowerPair rebate offers North Carolina customers a powerful incentive to adopt solar + battery storage.
2024 PowerPair Rebate Timeline
- January: PowerPair is approved by the NCUC
- February: Duke Energy deadline to files tariffs outlining the application process
- March: Deadline for NCUC to provide comments
- May: PowerPair application goes live!
How Does the PowerPair Solar Plus Battery Rebate Work?
Customers who install a new solar + battery system will be eligible for the PowerPair rebate of up to $9,000 in savings. When paired with the 30% Solar Tax Credit, homeowners can see savings of up to 52% off the total cost of a solar + battery system. Here are the highlights:
- Rebate Amount: Homeowners can receive up to $3,600 for solar and $5,400 for batteries when installed together, totalling up to $9,000.
- Limited Space: The rebate only has capacity for around 6,000 homes. Based on previous rebate programs in NC, we expect the program to hit capacity very quickly.
- Applying for Rebate: The application will open in May 2024. To apply for the rebate, we need to have your system designed and have submitted a complete interconnection request to Duke Energy. This process can take several weeks, so we recommend getting started early to be ready when the rebate application launches in May.
PowerPair Rebate Savings Summary
How long will the rebate last?
Historically, North Carolina solar rebates have been highly competitive so they’ve hit capacity relatively quickly.
This rebate will last until capacity is met. The PowerPair rebate allows up to 30,000 kW of installed solar capacity for Duke Energy Carolina and Duke Energy Progress territories (each), totaling 60,000 kW of capacity which is equivalent to 6,000 systems (if they all use the max 10kW system size).
Reach out today to get started on your solar + battery journey so you’ll be ready to apply when May rolls around.
Should you get a battery with solar in North Carolina?
With new policies and incentives in North Carolina aimed to create a more secure grid, battery storage has become more important as ever. Along this transition to energy security and increased solar adoption in NC, Duke Energy’s PowerPair rebate and revised solar net metering options are helping to incentivize customers toward battery storage. New solar + battery customers are looking at the biggest savings we’ve seen in our state thus far.
Can I get the PowerPair Rebate twice?
No, unless you move to a new home. In that case, there’s potential to get the rebate twice, but there are some provisions we are still waiting for clarity on.
Who is eligible for PowerPair?
Any Duke Energy customer in North Carolina installing a new solar + battery system. Homes can be either gas or electric, but it must be a new solar + battery system, not an addition. Here are the specifics for solar and battery requirements:
- 13.5 kWH max battery capacity*
- $400 given per kWh of battery capacity installed (up to 13.5kWh)
- Earn a max rebate value of $5,400 ($400 x 13.5kWh = $5400)
*Additional battery capacity is permitted, but will not qualify toward the rebate
- 10kW max solar capacity*
- 36 cents given per watt of solar installed (up to 10kW)
- Earning a max rebate value of $3,600 ($0.36 x 10kW = $3,600)
*Additional solar capacity is permitted, but will not qualify toward the rebate
Can I add a battery to an existing solar system to qualify for the PowerPair Rebate?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Only new solar + battery installs can qualify for the $9,000 PowerPair Rebate. However, existing battery systems and battery additions can elect into the EnergyWise program (Duke Energy Progress) or Power Manager program (Duke Energy Carolinas).
What is the PowerPair application process?
This rebate was just approved by the NCUC on January 11, 2024, so the next step is for Duke Energy to submit follow up plans with all the details for May. Once it is reviewed and approved by the NCUC, we’ll update this blog with any changes. From what we can see from the current proposal, it will be a first-come, first-served system when the application opens in May.
So, now what?
If you’re ready to look at securing your home during outages at the best prices we’ve ever seen on solar + battery systems, set a time to chat with one of our solar educators. They’ll help answer your questions and start your solar + battery journey.